It’s ON: Here’s what we just told the Supreme Court about collective bargaining

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.

Today, the National Education Association and the American Association of University Professors submitted an amicus brief today with the Supreme Court in the case of Janus v. AFSCME, Council 31.

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.

Unions make us strong

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.

5 Responses to “It’s ON: Here’s what we just told the Supreme Court about collective bargaining”

  1. Warner Todd Huston

    Unions are antithetical to democracy, are an empty hole down which tax dollars go to no good effect, subvert our political process, and lead to some of the worst schools in the world. THIS we know. THIS EVERY INNER CITY KID KNOWS.

    • Richard White

      Well said. I don’t object to unions, and no one dislikes clueless management more than I do, but compulsory union participation is akin to involuntary servitude.

    • JC Tripp

      Unions are why we have most of the worker rights that exist today, including the weekend. What this suit represents is a blatant misuse of our Constitution to fulfill an anti-labor, Libertarian agenda. The Koch Brothers and the billionaire class see unions as obstacles to their greed. They could care less about Democracy, or the First Amendment. These are both just a means to an end: to destroy government for the people and by the people.

  2. Joe Pimpernel

    You can have your communist unions, but you can’t have mandatory union dues anymore.
    After all, demanding union dues is so capitalist.

    • Richard White

      “After all, demanding union dues is so capitalist.”

      Nice take.


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