Lin Rizzo-Rupon, Noemieo Oliveira and Susan Marshall didn't choose to join their union, but are currently forced to support it in order to keep their jobs
CASE UPDATE: On December 16, 2019, the lawsuit was dismissed and on January 14, 2020, a notice of appeal was filed. On April 17, 2020, the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation filed a brief at the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
On January 8, 2019, the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation filed a lawsuit against the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers union on behalf of three airline workers from New Jersey. Lin Rizzo-Rupon, Noemieo Oliveira and Susan Marshall currently work as customer service representatives for United Airlines. As airline employees, they are currently being forced to pay agency fees to their union; a union which none of them willingly joined.
The U.S. Supreme Court Janus v. AFSCME ruling in June of 2018 declared that forcing public union members to pay a government union just to keep their jobs was a violation of their First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and association. Yet under the Railway Labor Act, hundreds of thousands of private transportation employees, including airline workers, must pay a union for services and contract negotiations that are heavily influenced, regulated and manipulated by government intervention.
Until 1951, agency fees were illegal as a matter of statutory law under the RLA. This suit seeks to return this protection from forced agency fees as a matter of constitutional law. This would extend the freedom of speech rights that were affirmed in the Janus decision to other workers.