STATEMENT: Supreme Court overturns 40 years of precedent, guts public sector workers’ capacity to organize and bargain for better wages

RALEIGH (June 27, 2018) — Earlier today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a 5-4 ruling in Janus vs. AFSCME, striking down the right of public sector workers to negotiate collective bargaining agreements that require workers who benefit from union representation to pay their fair share of fees to support that representation.

The NC Justice Center issued the following statement on this unfortunate decision:

“The American people expect the U.S. Supreme Court to strengthen and preserve democracy. Yet today the nation’s highest court took another step along a troubling road of putting the voices of powerful corporations above the voices of regular workers. In a blatantly ideological 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court struck down 40 years of established workplace protections that allowed state and local government employees the right to sign collective bargaining agreements requiring workers who benefit from union representation to pay their fair share of fees to support that representation.

Most experts agree this will dramatically reduce the fees unions take in, weakening their ability to bargain on behalf of their members for better ages and safer workplaces at the negotiating table. Given that state and local government employees already make nearly $3,000 less than their private sector counterparts every year, the decision will almost certainly lead to higher turnover among public employees and weaken the services they provide to our nation’s residents.

Worst of all, this decision will undermine our democracy by taking away a critically important path for building the power of working people to participate in our democracy, leaving the power of big money and corporations to influence politics to their own benefit. When the voices of working people diminish, so does trust in our democratic institutions.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT Allan Freyer, allan@ncjustice.org, 919.856.2151; Julia Hawes, julia@ncjustice.org, 919.863.2406

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