Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments in Janus v. AFSCME




Public Unions take to the streets in protest


On Monday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Janus v. AFSCME and public workers across the country protested the case that aims to create a national “right-to-work” law for all public sector workers. While protesters outside chanted and held signs highlighting the critical role unions play in protecting middle class jobs, diversity in the workforce, and retirement with dignity, inside the Court, fierce arguments were being made against a decision that could overturn half a decade of law and affect millions of workers across the country.

Janus v. AFSCME is the culmination of far right, big money interests’ attacks on public sector workers. Under current law, labor unions are required to represent and bargain for EVERYONE in the workplace, whether they are union members or not. Union members pay dues. Non-members pay fair share fees to cover the cost of unions representing them- and they get the same benefits under the contract that members do. Under “right-to-work” laws, fair share fees would be eliminated. Local 21 members’ dues would suddenly be paying for benefits for non-members, and our resources and power would fall at the same time.

If this case becomes law, a multi-million dollar campaign will be launched by anti-union forces to try to convince union members to drop their membership too. What they won’t tell union members is that if their plan works, unions won’t have the funding to stay afloat to provide “free” services for long. Their end game is to crush public sector unions and their political influence so that they can usher in an era of pension “reform”, privatize services, run anti-worker candidates unchecked, and so on.

Coverage of the protests was widespread on Monday, and many thoughtful articles and op-eds were published across the country:


Chicago Sun Times

The Mercury News

New York Times


Capital & Main


Almost everyone expects the Court to rule against unions and side with those that would like to see unions broken and obsolete.

As Local 21 members know, we are fighting back.

We can’t stop a Supreme Court case. But we don’t have to stop the Supreme Court to save our union. We will only lose our union and our power if we choose to. We can commit to being a member of our union, and we can talk to other members about doing the same. Sign a gold card today and CHOOSE UNION! Together, we can stay strong and fight back.