Janus v. AFSCME: “Right to Work” Attacks on the Labor Movement

As the Supreme Court reviews Janus v. AFSCME, labor unions nationwide are hunkering down for this “right to work” attack that could undermine workers’ ability to form unions and collectively bargain.

But first, what is “right to work”?

“Right to work” is a misnomer for what are really anti-worker attacks. “Right to work” laws make it significantly harder for working people to organize and collectively bargain for better wages, benefits, and working conditions. The reality is that when working people in unions and organized labor win, everyone wins. Just think, labor unions were responsible for helping establish the 40 hour work week, paid leave, and of course the weekends. And who doesn’t love the weekend?

What’s happening in Janus v. AFSCME?

At the issue in Janus v. AFSCME is whether public sector unions can collect a marginal agency fee to cover union activities from workers who declined to join their local union. These agency fees represent the fair share that non-unionized workers, like Janus, pay since unions improve the conditions for all workers — not just their members. Otherwise without these fees, non-unionized workers become free riders as their unions and their members improve working conditions, wages, and benefits.

Why should you care?

The decision in Janus v. AFSCME could have very chilling effects and far reaching impact for both public sector and private sector workers. Without strong unions, working people suffer. If your organization or company cares about working people — from nurses to sanitations workers to teachers — then you can show your support for working people, unions, and union-made products.

Where can I get more info?

Please check out these articles on this important court case:

What a Labor Union Is and How It Works

Janus v. AFSCME is a threat to all workers

Janus v. AFSCME threatens all union labor — the racist history of the ‘right to work’ slogan

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