Workers stand united in face of Janus v AFSCME

Posted Jun. 14, 2018 by

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Sometime in June, the United States Supreme Court will issue a ruling on Janus v. AFSCME Council 31. This lawsuit aims to take away the freedom of public workers to join together in strong unions. When the highest court in the nation heard the case on February 26, the nine justices essentially heard arguments for and against Right to Work for public sector workers across the nation.

The Janus case is one of the biggest corporate-funded attacks facing public employee union members in history. Combine this with Right to Work threats coming out of the Ohio Statehouse, there's no doubt why workers feel under attack! But we know the truth: America needs unions now more than ever! Unions have been the most effective vehicles to move people into the middle class and strengthen American families and communities. A union voice is the answer NOW to fixing our democracy and un-rigging an economy that favors the wealthy and powerful.

While we can't predict the outcome or impact of the case, we do know that workers are not taking attacks to their wages, benefits, pensions and contract rights lying down. There is a movement brewing in our country that no law nor court case can shutter! Workers are rising up like never before.They are unifying together with their union sisters and brothers to demand this country put WORKERS before WEALTH once and for all! Read more - "Unions: Our last, best defense" by OCSEA Pres. Chris Mabe

Workers are rising up

On February 24, workers, public and private, gathered to stand union proud at Working People's Day of Action events nationwide, including right here in Ohio. Thousands braved the cold rain to gather in Columbus to send the message: "I'm Sticking With My Union!" Union workers, with OCSEA members leading the charge, showed that they are fed up with attacks that limit their ability to have a voice on the job, about everything from wages to safety. They don't want politicians or big business money deciding whether they can join together in strong unions to speak up for themselves and their communities.

And, if recent labor struggles across the nation, from Arizona to West Virginia, have shown us anything, it's that there's power in the people coming together to make change.

"Workers aren't being fooled by these attacks. As was evident at the Working People's Day of Action, workers are more unified than ever," said OCSEA President Chris Mabe. "They know that when a union voice on the job is accessible, working families thrive. Now is the time for ALL of us to come together and stand unified together."

Take Action!

  • Talk to co-workers daily and remind them: unions are the best way to un-rig our economy, sustain our families and make our communities stronger. When working people stick together and organize, we are all stronger.
  • Urge everyone you know to call on elected leaders and candidates to support policies that makes it easier, not harder, for working people to join unions. Tell them to take a verbal stance AGAINST Right to Work and FOR union rights. And tell them, if they don’t, they won’t get your vote.
  • Be a part of the rising movement. Be prepared, at any moment, to participate in actions and rallies to fight back attacks that divide and weaken us.
  • Use social media as a tool to promote the value of your union and to speak out against attacks. Have co-workers take selfies using a pro-union sign (see example here). Post on social media using the hashtags #Unions, #1U and #ImStickingWithTheUnion to have your message heard far and wide. Download Union Sign (PDF) Photos can also be emailed to

  • Fliers: Spread the word about Janus

    Talk to co-workers and spread the word about the attacks to their wages, benefits, pensions and more that are protected by a union contract. The freedom to negotiate and have a unified voice is on the line. The more organized we are, the more powerful we become.

    Sign the "I'm Sticking With My Union" Pledge:

    Don't let them silence your union voice. Make the "I'm Sticking With My Union" Pledge and send the message that you're sticking with your union, no matter what!

    What is Janus v. AFSCME?

    The U.S. Supreme Court case Janus v. AFSCME Council 31 threatens unions and all working families.The Court began hearing oral arguments on Monday, Feb. 26, 2018. A decision is expected by summer 2018. This lawsuit aims to take away the freedom of public workers to join together in strong unions to speak up for themselves and their communities.

    What's the case really about?

    The corporate special interests behind this case have it out for unions and don't believe that working people should have the freedom to negotiate. The case puts corporate elites first by attacking and eroding the American freedoms to improve our lives, with good wages and benefits, and to build up the communities we serve.

    Who's behind this case?

    The National Right to Work Foundation is part of a network funded by corporate billionaires using the highest court in the land to rig the rules against working people. Their oversized influence (MONEY MONEY MONEY) is chipping away at decades of progress that unions have won for all working families.

    How do unions benefit our communities?

    When public service workers belong to strong unions, they fight for workplace rights that save lives, improve the public services and set a high standard for everyone. When union membership is high, communities also enjoy higher wages and quality of life.

    Why we must pay our fair share?

    Unions work when we all pay our fair share, and we all benefit when we negotiate together. Fair-share fees, fees for representation and no more, allow public workers to build power in numbers to negotiate better wages, benefits and protections. If the Court strikes down fair share fees, not only will the power of union workers be undermined, but those employees benefiting from union gains without paying anything toward the cost of representation will be leaching off those workers who DO pay their fair share.

    Is anyone ever forced to join a union or pay for politics?

    No. The simple truth is that no one is forced to join or be active in a union AND no one is forced to pay any fees that go to politics or political candidates. That is already the law of the land. Nothing in the Janus case will change that.

    What's the impact?

    This case, PLAIN AND SIMPLE, is about undermining the last supporter of the working and middle class: UNIONS. An unfavorable ruling would take away the freedom of working people to join together, speak up for each other and build a better life.

    OCSEA news

    "Conference attendees affirm there is Life After Janus"

    "Janus Decision Day is coming"

    "How Mark Janus benefits from his union"

    "Those behind Janus aim to destroy public services"

    "Building worker power and unity one member at a time"

    "Take a stand against Ohio anti-worker ballot initiatives"

    "OCSEA member to Plain Dealer: Unions have value!"

    AFSCME news

    "We Wouldn't Have Anything If It Weren't for Our Union"

    "Public Service Workers Need Unions. Here's Why."

    "How the Plaintiff in Janus v. AFSCME Benefits from His Union"

    "What Right-Wing Groups Have in Store for Public Service Workers"

    In the news

    "The Supreme Court case that could kneecap public sector unions, explained"

    "Why our nation is watching Illinois case Janus v. AFSCME"

    "California unions want to keep anti-labor activists from meeting new teachers and cops"

    "Fight for union workers is a fight for all Americans"

    "Behind Janus: Documents Reveal Decade-Long Plot to Kill Public-Sector Unions"