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Corporate court vs. unions ● GOP blockade pays off ● Dem upset

Wednesday, June 27, 2018




► BREAKING from the Washington Post — Supreme Court rules against public unions collecting fees from nonmembers — Conservatives on the Supreme Court said Wednesday that it was unconstitutional to allow public employee unions to require collective bargaining fees from workers who choose not to join the union, a major blow for the U.S. labor movement. The court in a 5-to-4 decision overturned a 40-year-old precedent and said that compelling such fees was a violation of workers’ free speech rights.

ALSO TODAY at The Stand

Union Strong: ‘No court decision will stop us’ — WSLC President Jeff Johnson and Secretary Treasurer Lynne Dodson: “No court decision will stop us from fighting for good jobs, safe workplaces, affordable health care, and dignity at work for everyone. Today, we recommit not only to sustaining Washington’s labor movement, but to building a stronger one.”

AFL-CIO: Janus decision ‘further empowers corporate elites’ — AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka: “We have never depended on any politician or judge to decide our fate and we aren’t about to start now.”

MORE NEWS COVERAGE of the Janus decision from the Associated Press, The GuardianThe HillHuffington Post, LA TimesNY Times, and Reuters.

► From U.S. Sen. Patty Murray — “A loss for workers and yet another win for corporate special interests” — “I and other Democrats will continue to stand up for workers and their right to be treated fairly on the job.”

► In the Olympian — If a worker pays no dues, why get union benefits? (editorial) — If workers can opt out of paying a share of contract bargaining costs, should they also opt out of benefits? Should state employees opting out be entitled to health-insurance benefits at the rate they receive them – with taxpayers picking up 85 percent of premiums? Or should they pay a higher percentage? Should opting-out employees receive cost of living raises at the same level as those who pay dues or agency fees?

► In today’s NY Times — GOP blockade of Obama nominee pays off in rulings — The consequences of President Trump’s nomination of Neil M. Gorsuch to the Supreme Court — and the Republican blockade of President Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick B. Garland in 2016 for that seat — became powerfully clear on Tuesday after the court’s conservative majority handed down major decisions to uphold Trump’s travel ban and in favor of abortion rights opponents. (And again today.)

► From the American Prospect — Who’s behind the Janus decision? — It is only with the financial backing of a dedicated group of right-wing foundations with deep ties to corporate lobbies that this and similar cases have repeatedly made it to the Supreme Court.

PREVIOUSLY at The Stand:

Janus (Part 1): The fix is in at the Supreme Court — MEET MARK JANUS. He’s a child support specialist for the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services. He has exercised his right under Abood to withdraw from the union and not be a member, but by law, AFSCME Council 31 must still represent him. Under his union contract, Janus makes $71,000 a year in a state where both the average pay for social work and the statewide median income is less than $60,000. He also earns time-and-a-half for working overtime. Almost every year he gets a step pay increase and/or cost-of-living increase. He gets paid holidays and paid vacation time. He gets his choice of several health care plans and is also eligible for retiree health care coverage. He gets paid sick leave and paid paternity leave. He is eligible to receive a defined-benefit pension that, when he retires, will pay him a portion of his salary for the rest of his life. He has job security and the peace of mind that if some manager violates his rights or tries to fire him without cause, the union will represent him to protect his job and his family.

And for all that, Janus pays a fair-share fee of $45 per month to the union, about what the average American pays for a gym membership. None of his money goes to political campaigns, or lobbying, or any other community and charitable activities his union is involved in. Just the contract.

Janus (Part 2): Get ready to defend your freedom




► From Reuters — Automakers warn U.S. tariffs will cost hundreds of thousands of jobs, hike prices — Two major auto trade groups on Wednesday warned the Trump administration that imposing up to 25 percent tariffs on imported vehicles would cost hundreds of thousands of auto jobs, dramatically hike prices on vehicles and threaten industry spending on self-driving cars.

► In today’s NY Times — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defeats Joseph Crowley in major Democratic House upset — Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-NY), once seen as a possible successor to Nancy Pelosi as Democratic House leader, suffered a shocking primary defeat on Tuesday, the most significant loss for a Democratic incumbent in more than a decade, and one that will reverberate across the party and the country. He was defeated by a 28-year-old political newcomer, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a former organizer for Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign, who had declared it was time for generational, racial and ideological change.

► In today’s NY Times — What Ocasio-Cortez’s victory means (editorial) — As Joe Crowley learned Tuesday night, progressives can’t be ignored.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Watch this ad and you won’t be so surprised.


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