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Judge Tosses Union Challenge to Foundation’s Outreach (Read More…)

By Bill McMorris On October 17, 2017

A state court dismissed a key union objection to a think tank’s effort to inform home health aides that they are not obligated to pay union dues.

Service Employees International Union Local 775 filed suit to block the Freedom Foundation, a Washington State-based free-market think tank, from reaching out to home health aides to inform them they could no longer be compelled to pay union dues and fees following a 2014 Supreme Court ruling. King County Superior Court Judge Steve Rosen granted a summary judgment on Friday tossing the union’s claim that the group’s outreach constituted “tortious interference,” in which a party causes economic harm to another.

Foundation attorney James Abernathy called the ruling on Friday a victory for free speech rights, saying, “the First Amendment won and SEIU lost” in a statement. The SEIU’s contention that the foundation’s outreach would prevent it from collecting expected revenue “was the heart of their case,” according to Abernathy; the judge’s dismissal could undermine the rest of the union’s claims, allowing the organization to continue its outreach campaign.

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