Janus Vs. AFSCME: Get the Facts, Stay Union Strong

Any day now, the United States Supreme Court will issue a ruling on Janus v. AFSCME Council 31. This lawsuit aims to take away the freedom of public workers to join together in strong unions. When the highest court in the nation heard the case on February 26, the nine justices essentially heard arguments for and against Right to Work For Less for public sector workers across the nation.

 The Janus case is one of the biggest corporate-funded attacks facing public employee union members in history. Combine this with anti-collective bargaining and Right To Work For Less threats coming out of the Connecticut legislature, there's no doubt why workers feel under attack! But we know the truth: America needs unions now more than ever! Unions have been the most effective vehicles to move people into the middle class and strengthen American families and communities.

A union voice is the answer NOW to fixing our democracy and un-rigging an economy that favors the wealthy and powerful. 

While we can't predict the exact outcome or impact of the case, we do know that workers are not taking attacks to their wages, benefits, pensions and contract rights lying down. There is a movement brewing in our country that no law nor court case can stop.

Workers are rising up
On February 26, workers, public and private, gathered to stand union proud at Working People's Day of Action events nationwide, including right here in Connecticut. Union workers members showed that they are fed up with attacks that limit their ability to have a voice on the job, about everything from wages to safety. They don't want politicians or big business money deciding whether they can join together in strong unions to speak up for themselves and their communities.

And, if recent labor struggles across the nation, from Arizona to Oklahoma to West Virginia, have shown us anything, it's that there's power in the people coming together to make change.

"Workers aren't being fooled by these attacks," said Council 4 Executive Director Jody Barr. "Our members know that working people thrive when they have a strong union voice on the job."

Recommit to Council 4 Union Membership:
The best way to protect your pay, benefits and bargaining rights is to sign a recommit card. This ensures we have the resources and strength in numbers to fully represent your interests. Click here to fill out your Recommit To Council 4 membership card. And be sure to email us at [email protected] so we can provide you important information the Janus Decision and breaking union news.

Take Action!
Talk to co-workers daily and remind them: unions are the best way to un-rig our economy, sustain our families and make our communities stronger. When working people stick together and organize, we are all stronger.

Urge everyone you know to call on elected leaders and candidates to support policies that makes it easier, not harder, for working people to join unions. Tell them to take a stand AGAINST Right to Work For Less and FOR union rights and freedoms. And tell them, if they don’t, they won’t get your vote.

Be a part of the rising movement. Be prepared, at any moment, to participate in actions and rallies to fight back attacks that divide and weaken us.

Use social media as a tool to promote the value of your union and to speak out against attacks. Have co-workers take selfies using a pro-union sign (see example here). Post on social media using the hashtags #Unions, #1U and #ImStickingWithTheUnion to have your message heard far and wide. Download your #Union Sign (PDF). Photos can also be emailed to [email protected].

Fliers: Spread the word about Janus
Talk to co-workers and spread the word about the attacks to their wages, benefits, pensions and more that are protected by a union contract. The freedom to negotiate and have a unified voice is on the line. The more organized we are, the more powerful we become.

VIDEO: How the Supreme Court Could Rule Against Working People

Janus v. AFSCME News

Want to know more about Janus v AFSCME and what it means to state employees?  AFSCME has a library of good reads. Click here to get the latest updates and analysis.

What is Janus v. AFSCME?

The U.S. Supreme Court case Janus v. AFSCME Council 31 threatens unions and all working families.The Court began hearing oral arguments on Monday, Feb. 26, 2018. A decision is expected by summer 2018. This lawsuit aims to take away the freedom of public workers to join together in strong unions to speak up for themselves and their communities.

What's the case really about?

The corporate special interests behind this case have it out for unions and don't believe that working people should have the freedom to negotiate. The case puts corporate elites first by attacking and eroding the American freedoms to improve our lives, with good wages and benefits, and to build up the communities we serve.

Who's behind this case? 

The National Right to Work Foundation is part of a network funded by corporate billionaires using the highest court in the land to rig the rules against working people. Their oversized influence (MONEY MONEY MONEY) is chipping away at decades of progress that unions have won for all working families.

How do unions benefit our communities?

When public service workers belong to strong unions, they fight for workplace rights that save lives, improve the public services and set a high standard for everyone. When union membership is high, communities also enjoy higher wages and quality of life.

Why should we pay our fair share? 

Unions work when we all pay our fair share, and we all benefit when we negotiate together. Fair-share fees, fees for representation and no more, allow public workers to build power in numbers to negotiate better wages, benefits and protections. If the Court strikes down fair share fees, not only will the power of union workers be undermined, but those employees benefiting from union gains without paying anything toward the cost of representation will be leaching off those workers who DO pay their fair share.

Is anyone ever forced to join a union or pay for politics?

No. The simple truth is that no one is forced to join or be active in a union AND no one is forced to pay any fees that go to politics or political candidates. That is already the law of the land. Nothing in the Janus case will change that. 

What's the impact?

 This case, PLAIN AND SIMPLE, is about undermining the last supporter of the working and middle class: UNIONS. An unfavorable ruling would take away the freedom of working people to join together, speak up for each other and build a better life.