Strong unions help to create strong schools for students and even stronger communities that benefit all of us. This, we know.
For generations, unions have been the best path to the middle class for working people, especially people of color and women. But in this rigged economy, unions are under attack, and those attacks are coming not just from the White House and Capitol Hill. They’re happening at the ballot box and at the Supreme Court with cases like Janus.
At issue in Janus is whether non-union members, who share in the wages, benefits and protections that have been negotiated into a collectively bargained contract, may be required to pay their fair share for the cost of those negotiations.
The National Right to Work Committee, an organization with deep ties to the Koch brothers, is asking the Court to read into the First Amendment a right-to-work law for the entire public sector. As our brief explains, the First Amendment has never been so interpreted and doing so would conflict with the Court’s long-established deference to state decisions about their public workforces.
The Janus case presents a real test for the court. If facts, merit and law are considered, then the justices must rule in favor of upholding 40 years of precedent that support the authority of state and local governments to choose to have strong public sector systems of collective bargaining.
The politically-motivated backers behind Janus know this case is nothing more than a smokescreen for what they’re really trying to do. Point blank, this case is an assault on the freedoms of working people to earn a better life for themselves and their families while it works to write the rules further in favor of their own special corporate interests and other billionaires.
Oral arguments in the case will be heard on Monday, February 26 and a decision is expected by June. We’ll be in touch in the coming weeks with more information about the case, how it could affect our work, and what you can do about it. So stay tuned.