Public sector unions narrowly averted a body blow when the U.S. Supreme Court deadlocked 4-4 in the recent Friedrichs decision, Local 1245 Business Representative J. V. Macor told the Advisory Council at Weakley Hall on April 23.
The unexpected death of Justice Antonin Scalia allowed unions to dodge the blow for now, but the Friedrichs case made it clear that public sector workers are under sustained attack. Flanked on stage by several members who could be on the firing line in future attacks, Macor said that Local 1245 had ramped up an intensive campaign of member-to-member communication in the public sector.
“This Local saw this attack coming,” said Macor, and began identifying public sector members throughout the union’s jurisdiction who could sound the alarm and speak directly with other members about the benefits of union membership. The result, he said, has been “multitudes of one-on-one conversations” with members talking about what the union means to them. He warned that members were not likely to enjoy the sort of wages and working conditions managers would offer if public sector employees lost union representation.
The union’s campaign has identified 84 members who are standing up and playing a leading role in this outreach campaign, Macor said.
Although the Friedrichs case was blocked just short of the end zone, Local 1245 will continue to marshal its defenses to rebuff future attacks, and can succeed if its members stand up to the threat. Advisory Council members gave a large ovation to the public sector members on stage in recognition of their effort to engage the entire public sector workforce in this fight.
Macor left the stage to cheers as he shouted out this reminder that each member has a role to play: “There is no union without that big old ‘U’ right in front!”
Learn more at www.ibew1245.com/friedrichs.