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Diversity, Tolerance, and Human Rights: The Future of Labor Unions and the Union Dues Dispute
Wayne Law Review (2004)
  • Harry G. Hutchison

Human cultural and moral identity may be composed of many things, including religion. The Union dues dispute implicates this conception of human identity. Many “political theorists appear to be most comfortable in supposing that identity is so very complex and changing that none of the various components can be said to dominate." If individuals or groups accept this scheme, and more particularly, any "religion that accepts its place in such a scheme - democratically abstaining from any undue claims to authority - has already been transformed by liberalism" and by the presumed universality for which it stands.

Those who accept this compromise jeopardize both authentic moral and cultural identity. Individuals, workers, and others, animated by the claims of defiant identity risk their integrity if they engage in compelled association with, or support of, compulsory speech by majoritarian unions which derive their authority from government mandates in the form of the NLRA. Minimal accommodation, lack of accountability by unions, intrusive questionnaires and other barriers to relief, all constrain the ability of workers to manifest their beliefs free from interference and coercion in contravention of available international human rights norms. Such interference contributes to coerced homogeneity while concurrently impinging on the First Amendment interest of workers. On the other hand, to the extent that courts and legislators accept international norms, including a robust conception of freedom of conscience and religious liberty, they protect the most marginalized among us while vindicating a principled conception of equality.

  • Human Rights,
  • Religion,
  • Labor Union Dues,
  • First Amendment norms
Publication Date
November, 2004
Citation Information
Harry G. Hutchison. "Diversity, Tolerance, and Human Rights: The Future of Labor Unions and the Union Dues Dispute" Wayne Law Review Vol. 49 (2004)
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