Today, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned more than four decades of precedent in its ruling on the Janus v. AFSCME case. By a vote of 5-4, the Court upended its own unanimous decision in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education (1977), effectively taking away unions’ ability to collect fair share fees to cover the cost of collective bargaining and representation in the public sector.
In a nutshell, this decision amounts to so-called “Right to Work” for public sector workers in all 50 states — including around 2,500 civil servants who are members of IBEW Local 1245 in California.
We knew this decision was coming, and we’ve been preparing for it for over a year. IBEW 1245’s dedicated public sector member-leaders have joined together in Volunteer Organizing Committees (VOCs), and have been running highly effective organizing drives to make sure their co-workers understand the union difference and what we could lose if we do not stand together. This herculean effort has resulted in more than 85% of our public sector members committing to voluntarily maintain their union membership, and that number continues to grow every day.
You’re probably going to hear a lot of doom-and-gloom talk about the Janus decision in the news and at work. But despite what the media and naysayers may claim, the truth is that no court decision or politician can stop us from standing together in a union to get a better deal for our hard work. It’s our right, and they can’t take that away.
When we stand together, we have power. That power allows for us to bargain a good contract that includes fair pay, quality health care, safer working conditions and retirement security. It gives us a seat at the table to negotiate for things that improve our jobs and allow us to better serve our communities.
Our power in numbers is also what enables the Labor Movement to serve as the last line of defense for the entire middle class, which has been under attack by corporate special interests for decades.
If they succeed in tearing apart organized labor, we know what will happen next. The politicians will roll over us. We’ll see even more attacks on our rights in both the public and private sectors. Wages will be slashed. Jobs will be outsourced. Retirement and health care benefits will be gutted. Safety regulations will be watered down or eliminated. And that’s just the beginning.
That’s why it’s more important than ever for us to keep our union strong. When we stand together as a united force, we can beat back the attacks. We can look out for each other. We can create a better, brighter future for our families.
The billionaire CEOs behind this attack on Labor want us to be weaker, and they’re counting on anti-union politicians and handful of judges to make their job easier. We can’t let them succeed. Now is the time to be loud and proud about being a member of IBEW 1245.
Let’s stand together and show them that we’re united. We’re sticking with the union, no matter what.
Here’s what you can do to keep our union strong:
–Reaffirm your commitment to standing with your co-workers to protect our pay and jobs
–Take a moment to post support for our union on social media using the #UnionStrong hashtag
–Wear your IBEW t-shirts, stickers, hats and buttons with pride
–Tell everyone how being in a union and getting a good contract changed your life!
Remember, when working people stand together, the middle class thrives, and our future is bright. Together, there’s nothing we cannot do.
— Tom Dalzell, IBEW 1245 Business Manager