The U.S. Supreme Court has reversed Janus v. AFSCME, which will restrict public sector unions’ long-standing ability to collect fair share fees from nonmembers who benefit union work.
Wisconsin Gazette is collecting reaction:
Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune released the following statement: "Despite resistance from corporations and right-wing politicians, the labor movement has always moved America forward. Unions have pushed for progress on human and economic rights for all Americans and continue to work to create a more just and equitable society. Today's decision does the bidding of the very same corporations that have polluted our communities, but we will march on. The fight to protect the rights of working people is a fight to protect all of our rights, and the Sierra Club will continue to rise in solidarity with working families and unions to build a stronger, more equitable society."
“While billionaires and the corporate interests behind the Janus case use their power and wealth to continue to rig our economy against working people, workers are busy building a movement to rewrite the rules of our economy to create broadly shared prosperity,” said Phil Neuenfeldt, president of the Wisconsin AFL-CIO. “Workers are on the rise and the Supreme Court can’t stop us. At a time when our democracy and economy are rigged to overwhelmingly favor the wealthy, America needs unions now more than ever so our middle class can thrive.”
“Workers will steadfastly continue to join together and stand together in union for dignity and respect on the job,” said Stephanie Bloomingdale, secretary-treasurer of the Wisconsin AFL-CIO. “The Wisconsin labor movement recommits today, tomorrow and every day to fight on behalf of America’s workers. The Janus decision is a step backward in the forward progression of our country but working people will stand together and continue our long march for living wages, a voice on the job and full worker rights.”
AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka issued this statement: "The Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in Janus v. AFSCME, Council 31, abandons decades of commonsense precedent. In this case, a bare majority of the court, over the vigorous dissent of four justices, has conceded to the dark web of corporations and wealthy donors who wish to take away the freedoms of working people. Until it is overturned, this decision will be a political stain on what is intended to be the most honorable, independent body in the world. But more importantly, it will further empower the corporate elites in their efforts to thwart the aspirations of millions of working people standing together for a better life.
"But here’s the thing: America is heading in a different direction. All over the country, workers are organizing and taking collective action as we haven’t seen in years. More than 14,000 workers recently formed or joined unions in just a single week. This followed a year where 262,000 workers organized and the approval rating of unions reached a nearly 14-year high. Working families know the best way to get a raise, better benefits and a voice on the job is through a union contract. The corporate narrative of the labor movement’s downfall is being dismantled by working people every single day.
"We have never depended on any politician or judge to decide our fate and we aren’t about to start now."
“Today’s decision is a devastating blow to working people,” said HRC president Chad Griffin. “Unions have long played a vital role in strengthening families and advancing LGBTQ equality in the workplace. Nurses, social workers and teachers use their voice to stand up for LGBTQ patients, parents and students every day. HRC will continue to fight alongside our partners in the labor movement in the face of ongoing attacks from the Trump-Pence administration.”
Pride at Work executive director, Jerame Davis reacted strongly: “After spending billions of dollars to steal a Supreme Court seat, corporate CEOs and billionaires got what they paid for today. The partisan majority on this court has decided that the corporate interests that put them have greater rights than the American people. The right to organize is a fundamental freedom that must not be abridged. This decision is a major setback for working people all across the nation, regardless of whether they are part of a union. Just as they authorized the Muslim Ban yesterday, this Supreme Court has proven that it will stop at nothing to divide and weaken us."
“This ruling pierces the heart of the labor movement,” Stacey Long Simmons, director of the department of advocacy and action at the National LGBTQ Task Force stated.“This ruling helps to create an America where corporations have even more rights and working people’s rights are eroded.”
U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis., said, "As a 30-year union member and a lifelong resident of Wisconsin, I have witnessed first-hand the positive effects that unions can have on people’s lives, as well as the destructive results when politicians, like Wisconsin’s own Scott Walker, attack worker’s rights. Despite today’s Supreme Court ruling, I’m committed to fighting for public employees and ensuring that unions can continue to make a difference in working peoples’ lives.
“Earlier this year, I introduced the Workplace Democracy Act, legislation that restores real bargaining rights to workers and repeals the right to work laws like those that Gov. Walker has used to undercut American workers. We must stand up for the millions of middle-class families who are under attack by Republican leaders and rulings like the one delivered today by the Supreme Court.”