[ Some Presidents of public sector unions respond to Supreme
Courts anti-union decision.] [https://portside.org/] 

 PORTSIDE LABOR 

 AMERICA NEEDS UNIONS NOW MORE THAN EVER AS SUPREME COURT SIDES WITH
CORPORATE BILLIONAIRES RIGGING ECONOMY AGAINST WORKERS  
[https://portside.org/node/17553] 

 

 AFSCME 
 June 27, 2018
AFSCME 

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 _ Some Presidents of public sector unions respond to Supreme Court's
anti-union decision. _ 

 , 

 

The following statement was issued by leaders and members of AFSCME,
AFT, NEA and SEIU following the decision by the United States Supreme
Court to rule against working people and in favor of billionaire CEOs
and corporate interests in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31, holding that
requiring fair-share fees in the public sector violates the First
Amendment of the Constitution.

As millions of American workers recommit to their unions and launch
new organizing drives and as support for labor unions has risen to its
highest level in years, it is shameful that the billionaire CEOs and
corporate special interests behind this case have succeeded in
manipulating the highest court in the land to do their bidding. This
case was nothing more than a blatant political attack to further rig
our economy and democracy against everyday Americans in favor of the
wealthy and powerful.

Public service workers—teachers, social workers, firefighters, 911
operators—are more determined than ever to stick together in their
unions. Unions remain the most effective vehicle for the power in
numbers working people need to secure their rights and freedoms, and
provide a pathway to the middle class. We will remain a strong and
vibrant force for working people, and will continue fighting to
sustain our families, improve our workplaces and to make our
communities stronger regardless of the court’s ruling.  

Today’s decision sends our economy in the wrong direction. But it is
also a rallying point. We call on elected leaders and candidates to do
everything in their power to make it easier to unite in unions and
build more power for all working people.

UNION LEADER AND MEMBER RESPONSES:

“Unions will always be the most effective force and vehicle to
propel working people into the middle class. Despite this
unprecedented and nefarious political attack – designed to further
rig the rules against working people -- nothing changes the fact that
America needs unions now more than ever. We are more resolved than
ever to fight like hell to win for our members and the communities
they care so much about. AFSCME members don’t do this work to get
rich. They do it because it’s a calling -- and for that service,
they deserve respect. They deserve the same freedoms as the CEOs and
billionaires who continue to rig the rules against everyone else. The
American labor movement lives on, and we’re going to be there every
day, fighting hard for all working people, our freedoms and for our
country.” - LEE SAUNDERS, PRESIDENT, AFSCME

“No court case, win or lose, could ever change how important my work
and service is to me and the community I care about. My union gives me
the strength, freedom and the tools I need to help people and to
provide for my family. That’s why I’ll always stick with my
coworkers, no matter what. We’re going to keep doing what we’ve
been doing: organizing and talking to coworkers and community members,
building power for working people.” - STEPHEN MITTONS, AFSCME
COUNCIL 31 MEMBER, CHILD PROTECTION INVESTIGATOR FOR THE ILLINOIS
DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES 

“Today’s radical decision by the Supreme Court is a blatant slap
in the face for educators, nurses, firefighters, police officers and
all public servants who make our communities strong and safe. We are
living in a system that is rigged to benefit special interests and
billionaires, all at the expense of working people. Those behind this
case know that unions amplify workers’ voices and transform their
words into powerful and collective action. Even though the Supreme
Court sided with corporate CEOs and billionaires over working
Americans, unions will continue to be the best vehicle on the path to
the middle class.” - LILY ESKELSEN GARCÍA, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL
EDUCATION ASSOCIATION (NEA)

“Fine arts programs were being cut from my school and students were
missing out on subjects like arts and music. My union negotiated with
the district to bring back music so our students could have a
well-rounded curriculum. When some school principals tried to renege
on the agreement, as a union, we stepped up. Educators came together
through our union and spoke out for what our kids need. Strong unions
build strong schools and strong communities. We need unions now more
than ever.” - ALEX PRICE, BAND DIRECTOR AND INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC
TEACHER, BELMONT HIGH SCHOOL AND WRIGHT BROTHERS MIDDLE SCHOOL IN
DAYTON, OHIO

“This decision is yet another example of how billionaires rig the
system against working people, but SEIU members won’t let the
extremists behind this case divide us. We will stay united, help
workers who are fighting to form unions, and call on our elected
leaders to do everything in their power to make it easier for working
people to join together in unions.” - MARY KAY HENRY, PRESIDENT,
SEIU

“My coworkers and I are not going to let this court decision stop us
from sticking together in our union. We know that we are stronger
together, and that matters when we are working to ensure our community
is resilient when faced with disasters like earthquakes or floods. We
won’t let any court case, billionaire, or propaganda campaign divide
us.” - SARA CAMPOS, DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES, SEIU LOCAL 503 IN
SALEM, OREGON

“Don’t count us out. While today the thirst for power trumped the
aspirations and needs of communities and the people who serve them,
workers are sticking with the union because unions are still the best
vehicle working people have to get ahead. 

“Strong unions create strong communities. We will continue fighting,
caring, showing up and voting, to make possible what is impossible for
individuals acting alone. The teacher walkouts this spring, with
educators fighting for the funding children need, were an example of
how we will continue to make that case—in the halls of statehouses
and the court of public opinion, in our workplaces and communities,
and at the ballot box in November—through organizing, activism and
members recommitting to their union.

“This is a dark day in U.S. jurisprudence. Swung by a
Trump-appointed justice with a long history of ruling for the wealthy
and corporations over regular people, the Supreme Court overturned a
40-year unanimously decided precedent that has given teachers and
firefighters, nurses and cops, a path to a better life for themselves
and their communities.

“More than forty years ago, the court recognized that collective
bargaining for teachers and other public sector workers benefits those
workers, their employers and their communities. Union representation,
if chosen by a majority, is the glue that holds us together. That
wisdom has now been abandoned by the slimmest majority.

“The dissenting justices saw this case for what it really was—a
warping and weaponizing of the First Amendment, absent any evidence or
reason, to hurt working people. Not only was Abood well within the
mainstream of First Amendment law, it has been affirmed six times and
applied to other cases upholding bar fees for lawyers and student
activity fees at public colleges.” - RANDI WEINGARTEN, PRESIDENT,
AFT

“Regardless of the Supreme Court ruling, the teachers in our
district will stick together to make sure we have a say in the future
of our kids. We are a small union in a rural and conservative part of
Ohio. But nearly all of the teachers in our district are full
dues-paying members—because we know that teachers’ ability to
create a safe learning environment for kids and make teaching a viable
profession comes directly from being part of a strong union.”
- HOLLY KIMPON, A HIGH SCHOOL BIOLOGY AND ANATOMY TEACHER, AFT MEMBER
AND PRESIDENT OF THE GENOA AREA EDUCATION ASSOCIATION IN OHIO

AFSCME's 1.6 million members provide the vital services that make
America happen. With members in hundreds of different occupations —
from nurses to corrections officers, child care providers to
sanitation workers — AFSCME advocates for fairness in the workplace,
excellence in public services and prosperity and opportunity for all
working families.

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