Janus: Best Articles

If you have to explain the fair share case now before the U.S. Supreme Court; if you need insight into what it means for your members, your local and our movement; if you have to have answers now, we've got you covered.

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule by the end of June on the case concerning the union-hater Mark Janus and the question of whether he and others like him should be required to pay fair share fees for the union benefits they receive.

So you are aware of the articles, reports and commentary written about the Janus case, fair share fees and unions in general, we'll provide you with short introductions and links to the best information out there.

From the Economic Policy Institute:
Janus and fair share fees

Over the last decade, a number of cases attacking the rights of public-sector union members have been quietly working their way through the courts and, finally, up to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The most recent of these challenges is Janus v. AFSCME Council 31, which the U.S. Supreme Court will hear on February 26. If the court rules for Janus, it will likely have the most significant impact on workers’ freedom to organize and bargain collectively in 70 years.

As this report will show, Janus, and the two fair share cases that preceded it, did not grow from an organic, grassroots challenge to union representation. Rather, the fair share cases are being financed by a small group of foundations with ties to the largest and most powerful corporate lobbies…challenging fair share fees in the courts appears to be part of a broader billionaire-financed agenda to weaken unions and shift power away from ordinary workers.

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From the San Francisco Chronicle:
Cal. unions planning next steps if Janus goes against them

The U.S. Supreme Court has yet to weigh in on a high-profile case that could slash the power of public employee unions. But California labor leaders are already planning to push for new state laws to blunt the impact of an unfavorable ruling.

The case argued before the court last week, Janus vs. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, challenges whether public employee unions can collect fees from workers who choose not to join the union. California is one of several states that allow unions to collect “fair-share fees” from workers who benefit from services such as contract negotiations but don’t want to pay for their union’s political activity.

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From The Atlantic:
The conservative case for unions

Although i was as dumbfounded on Election Day as the next D.C. bubble-dweller, I did feel that I had one scrap of insight into the working-class anger that helped power Donald Trump’s improbable victory. Last year, I got a taste of what many Americans are coping with in a globalized economy—a globalized economy, more specifically, in which many workers feel voiceless and powerless. A taste was more than enough.

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From the Brooksing Institute:
For Democrats and public workers, there’s a lot at stake in the Supreme Court’s Janus decision

Last month, the Supreme Court heard arguments in the case of Janus v. AFSCME. The decision, expected in early summer, could severely damage the last stronghold of unionism in the United States: the public sector. If the court rules against AFSCME, the economic implications are worrying, particularly for minority workers. The decision could also, plausibly, do measurable harm to Democrats’ electoral chances and further weaken the political voice of working class people.

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From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
Pennsylvania needs stronger labor unions

Generations of Pennsylvanians have built better lives because of the work labor unions have done to improve working conditions, increase economic security and ensure workers are treated fairly. But on Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear opening arguments in Janus v. AFSCME, a case that could take our nation backward by undoing this progress.

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From the Nation:
Millennials Are Keeping Unions Alive

Jobs are precarious, health-care costs are skyrocketing, and wages aren’t keeping up with the cost of living—no wonder young people are organizing.

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From The New York Times:
Loss of Union Power Has Hurt Am. Mftg.

Want to make America great again and keep factories in the United States? Try strengthening labor unions.

That may seem counterintuitive, and certainly contrary to the direction the country has been moving in lately. But the reality is that when organized labor dug in its heels — as it did regularly in the United States until late in the 20th century — manufacturing companies thought twice about shutting a factory and transferring production to another country.

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