In April the New York State Legislature passed, and Governor Cuomo signed, a change in the state’s public-employee labor relations laws regarding the legal Duty of Fair Representation. Public sector unions are no longer required to represent non-members in grievances, investigations, hearings regarding allegations or charges, or appeals of ratings.
“In their quest for even bigger profit margins, the rich and powerful have always tried to divide and suppress working people. Today, those forces are as shameless and well-funded as ever. This time, a flurry of corporate interests has launched a full-blown assault on working people through the courts, attempting to strip unions of our ability to effectively advocate for public workers.” – Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO President
“Through struggle and sacrifice, workers built our unions and won a ladder into the middle class. Those gains proved precarious, however, as corporations tried to drive down costs and right-wing politicians attacked our social safety net. Now, in 2017, we are facing dramatically increased threats to job security, wages and benefits. Right to work legislation, once the province of the South, has moved North.” – George Gresham, President 1199SEIU
“What the Janus backers (and most commentators) miss is that agency fees are not just compensation for the financial costs of representation, but for the political costs of representing all the members in the bargaining unit and maintaining labor peace.” - Shaun Richman, the author of the Century Foundation report “Labor’s Bill of Rights.”
“It’s a mistake to focus on the individual plaintiffs,” says Alexander Hertel-Fernandez, an assistant professor of international and public affairs at Columbia University. “Instead, the focus should be on the conservative advocacy groups. … ALEC, SPN and the Kochs’ Americans for Prosperity have all worked hand in glove over the past several years to cut back the strength of public-sector unions. The effects of this case will be felt far beyond the plaintiffs.”
“The supreme court this time appears to be poised to knock the legs from under union advocacy, in what would be a major victory for the rightwing jurisprudential movement,” said Dan Weiner, senior counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice, a non-partisan group.
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