Years ago, when Mike Jackson and Tory Smith started working in the Parking Department at the University of California, San Diego, they assumed they were required to join the public employees’ union. Not that it made much difference whether they joined or not. At the time, 22 states, including California, required workers who didn’t join the union to pay “agency fees” — an amount of money just shy of full union dues — to cover the union’s costs for collective bargaining. Either way, the union would automatically deduct about $600 annually from their paychecks.
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