Today, the American Labor Movement has received some tough news. The U.S. Supreme Court has issued its ruling regarding the Janus v. AFSCME case which effectively makes all public sector workers right to work under a union contract without the obligation to pay for the support of their brothers and sisters. While this decision does not impact private sector workers, we know that our opponents will stop at nothing to destroy all sources of worker power.
This court decision is the result of decades of work by right-wing think tanks and their political allies who have spent millions of dollars pushing forward an agenda that attacks working people and seeks to accumulate more power for the top 1%. Let us be clear, this case has nothing to do with workers having more freedom; the true purpose of this case is to ensure that working people are forced into accepting poverty wages, no healthcare, and no retirement by limiting their ability to come together and bargain for something better.
As Teamsters, we know the power of having a Union, and we are not going to back down. While many may say that this case represents the end of Unions, we know this isn’t true. We have been at this junction in history before. In the early 20th Century, workers in the U.S. including immigrants and women who were earning poverty wages with no rights under the law fought back by organizing! This powerful movement led to millions of workers organizing into Unions and the passage of fundamental laws that provide workers protections and the right to organize. During these dark times, we must remember our Teamster heritage and continue organizing in our workplaces to build worker power, and in our communities by increasing our voting power in order to elect leaders that will fight for working families. By moving forward together we can overcome these challenges and secure a bright future for workers across our country.
Teamsters Local 396 represents UPS and Sanitation workers in Southern California. The Local Union also serves Members in other miscellaneous industries such as logistics, recycling and feed delivery services.