On June 27, 2018, the United States Supreme Court declared that fees charged to dissenting employees pursuant to a union agency shop arrangement violates the First Amendment. In a 5-4 vote in Janus v. AFSCME, Council 31, No. 16-1466, the court found in favor of Mark Janus, an Illinois public employee who refused to join the union yet had so-called agency or "fair share" fees taken from his paycheck every month, adding up to more than $500 each year.
This is a difficult time for unions throughout United States. The percentage of private sector employees covered by unions is at a historic low. Even in the public sector, unions are under stress due to straitened economic circumstances facing public sector employers and legal challenges to the union's right to collect fair share dues.