June 21, 2018

Supreme Court rules against working people

The United States Supreme Court ruled today against working people and in favor of billionaire CEOs and corporate interests in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31, holding that fair-share fees in the public sector violate the First Amendment of the Constitution.

“This case is a blatant political attack by Bruce Rauner and other wealthy interests on the freedom of working people to form strong unions,” AFSCME Council 31 Executive Director Roberta Lynch said. “We are extremely disappointed the Supreme Court has taken the side of the powerful few, but we’re more determined than ever to keep our union strong, standing up for public services and the working people who provide them.”

Originally filed by billionaire Republican Gov. Rauner, the case was taken up by the National Right-to-Work Foundation and the litigation arm of the Illinois Policy Institute, a Rauner-backed group whose national parent—the State Policy Network—said its intent in bringing the case was to “defund” the labor movement nationwide.

“No court case will prevent us from standing together in our union and speaking up for ourselves, our families and our communities,” said Stephen Mittons, a child protection investigator in Chicago.

“We know it’s through our union that we have the ability to stand up together for the fair pay and decent benefits that all working people deserve,” said Kristen Nolen, a public health worker in Springfield. “We’ll never quit, because we know that our state and our country need strong unions and working people need a strong voice."

“The powerful interests behind this case have tens of millions of dollars to pour into their political agenda of trying to silence us. But we aren’t afraid and we aren’t going anywhere,” Lynch said. “We’re making certain that every union member knows the real intent of this case is to defund unions, then drive down wages and benefits of public service workers. We're not going to let that happen.”

For more information about what this case means for working people, visit

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