Workers all across the country will come together in cities from coast-to-coast Saturday to urge lawmakers to stand up to big business bullies dumping dollars into an effort to tamp down on the collective bargaining rights of those on the job.
As part of the Working People’s Day of Action, attendees will challenge the latest attack on laborers that will come before the U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 26, when oral arguments will be heard for Janus v. AFSCME. The court will decide whether non-union public sector workers should continue to contribute fees to cover workplace representation they receive from unions like the Teamsters.
In many states across the country, that representation includes coverage under an employment contract that addresses wages, benefits and working conditions. The decision could affect 17 million workers once it is handed down later this year.
“If the Supreme Court overturns 40 years of legal precedent by disallowing the collection of ‘fair share’ fees, it will be much more difficult for public employees to have a voice and for labor unions to have the financial resources to protect public employees and safeguard their negotiated wages, benefits, and working conditions,” said Michael Filler, Director of the Teamsters’ Public Services Division.
Fifty years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. joined striking sanitation workers in Memphis as they fought for the freedom to join together in a strong union and be treated with dignity and respect at work. Today, corporate elites are enlisting their anti-worker lawmaker lackeys to continue to rig system against working people.
Several Teamsters said they believe that MLK would be on their side standing up for public sector workers if he was alive today, saying their plight is similar to those whom he marched with more than half a century ago.
Catherine Cobb, President of Teamsters Local 2010 – which represents thousands of University of California administrative and skilled trades workers – said many public sector workers still face economic challenges.
“At UC, there is a lot of disparity in wages,” she said. “When I was in bargaining, we had some of members come and talk to the UC and let them know they were barely making it. They were struggling, and it was very hard to hear what our members had to say about barely having enough to live.”
The Working Peoples Day of Action will bring hardworking Americans together to support unions and their right to speak up for themselves, their families, their communities and the next generation of workers. To find out more and locate the nearest gathering, go to www.itsaboutfreedom.org.
“By remaining united and by increasing our membership across the country, we can withstand an adverse decision by the Supreme Court and protect the middle class in this country,” Filler said.