SiX Statement on U.S. Supreme Court Decision in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31

June 2018

The court’s decision represents a blow to working people and their freedom to join together in unions on the job; SiX and progressive legislators stand united in their commitment to ensure workers’ freedoms.

WASHINGTON, D.C. —Today, the State Innovation Exchange (SiX) issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31. The court ruled against working people in a 5-4 decision, holding that requiring fair-share fees in the public sector violates the First Amendment of the Constitution. Functionally, this means that while unions must continue to represent all workers in a workplace, those workers will no longer have to contribute anything toward that representation.

“America needs unions. Over the past half century, we’ve witnessed a steady stream of attacks on workers’ ability to organize and negotiate collectively on the job at both the state and federal levels, which has ended up reducing wages and limiting opportunity,” said Sam Munger, SiX’s Director of External Affairs. 
  
“We know that unions increase economic mobility for everyone by increasing wages, benefits and working standards in all our communities; that’s why attacks on unions hurt all working people. In the months ahead, progressive state legislators will continue to fight for working families and to build an economy that works for everyone, not just the wealthy few. Protecting workers’ rights, including the freedom to join together in unions, is central to that.

Wealthy corporate interests brought the Janus case to the Supreme Court to try to divide working people and take away their freedom to join together in union on the job. The decision, along with the court’s recent ruling on Epic Systems Corp v. Lewis to allow arbitration clauses in employment contracts and limit class action lawsuits, will further rig our democracy and economy in favor of corporations and billionaires and against everyday workers at a time when inequality is already at historic levels.

SiX stands with the teachers, social workers, firefighters, 911 operators, and all public sector workers who are more determined than ever to join together in union to improve services, and fight for safer working conditions and better pay. SiX will continue to support the efforts of state legislators who stand up for working people across the country.