Today, the conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court turned their backs on workers to side with the wealthy and powerful who have spent hundreds of millions to attack and defund unions. In today’s decision in the Janus v. AFSCME, the Court overturned a precedent that for more than 40 years had recognized the ability of unions to collect “fair share” fees. In the 1977 Abood v. Detroit Board of Education case, the Supreme Court ruled that employees represented by a union — including nonmembers — should pay agency fees to compensate the union for bargaining contracts and other services.
The ruling today isn’t about petitioner Mark Janus, an Illinois public employee. It’s about the decades- long push by the mega-rich and powerful to preserve and expand their wealth and power at the expense of workers. It’s the latest offensive in the war on working families. It’s about making sure the rich keep getting richer while everyone else gets less.
The folks bankrolling the Janus case — the Koch Brothers, the DeVos family, and other corporate and wealthy interests — know that without unions, workers don’t have a voice to fight for a better life and greater opportunity. And with today’s ruling, the anti-union and anti-worker forces think they’ve won. They think we are defeated.
They couldn’t be more wrong!
In the wake of the Janus decision, expect right-wing extremists to step up their anti-union assault. Several state-based conservative think-tanks — like the Freedom Foundation and others — are already gearing up their union opt-out campaigns through door-to-door canvassing and media outreach. Their goal is to mislead union members into giving up our power and voice by opting out of union membership.
We will not be fooled!
Now is the time to stay in the fight. Together, in our unions, we are continuing the fight for our values — decent pay, quality healthcare, safe workplaces and fair treatment — our fundamental rights and our future.
We are ready to carry this fight forward — where our members work, in the communities we serve, and at the ballot box in November. Now is the time to stand together and stay united.