CHN on Janus vs. AFSCME: ‘Workplace standards for millions will be at risk’
Editor’s note: Deborah Weinstein, Executive Director of the Coalition on Human Needs, issued the following statement Wednesday, June 27 in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Janus vs. AFSCME.
“Today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling continues almost 50 years of attacks on workers and unions in the U.S. The proud American tradition of organizing – which has resulted in improvements such as the 40-hour work week, overtime pay, weekends, job safety, even Social Security – is at risk. The Court’s decision, by undermining unions, threatens all working people and will further increase income inequality, while giving aid and comfort to the wealthiest Americans and big corporations.
“Who will be harmed by today’s ruling? For certain, first responders and front-line workers such as police officers, firefighters, teachers and nurses. Similarly, caregivers serving seniors, children and people with disabilities need the help of effective collective bargaining representation. But it is not just union members who will be harmed – workplace standards for millions more will be at risk. As our colleagues at the National Employment Law Project have noted, weakening unions hurts us all as a society; a rising tide lifts all workers’ boats, not just union members – and as union membership has declined, all workers’ wages have stalled.
“All of us who use the services performed by public employees benefit when they can bargain for better working conditions and pay. We are all in this together; their gains are ours, and their losses diminish the quality of our communities.
“If we want to strengthen our country, that means improving our schools, our health care system, and the basics that promote a thriving middle class – retirement security, affordable housing, good jobs with good benefits. This involves expanding opportunities for low- and middle-income workers. Today’s ruling – limiting the organizing power of the very people whose achievements help to build our middle class — takes us exactly in the opposite direction.”