janus v. afscme

Our Union, Our Power

June 29, 2018 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE Capping what was perhaps was its most contentious and partisan session in modern history, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to overturn precedent and establish so-called “right-to-work” in the public sector nationwide. The decision in Janus is the latest in a series of outrageous court, legislative and administrative actions pushed by a cabal of anti-union extremists to define the rules of the nation’s economy even more in favor of the 1 percent by trying to weaken the power of unions. At a City Hall press conference after Janus v. AFSCME was announced, DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido was defiant. “Our lives will not be determined by a Supreme Court decision,” he said. “It is the desire of working people to stand up and collectively say we are stronger together and that in unity is our power. We shall not be stopped.” Later that afternoon, city unions [More...]

Statement by DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido on the Janus v. AFSCME Decision

June 27, 2018 // 1 Comment

Today’s 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court decision smashes precedent and overturns the Court’s unanimous 1977 decision in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, which upheld the maintaining of a union shop in a public workplace. Make no mistake: Janus v. AFSCME was always a politically-motivated case designed to rig the rules of the economy even more in favor of the privileged and powerful by weakening unions. What our country’s highest court did today was to, in effect, make so-called “right-to-work” the law of the land for public employees. Let’s remember what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said nearly 60 years ago about so-called “right-to-work” laws: “We must guard against being fooled by false slogans, such as ‘right to work.’ It is a law to rob us of our civil rights and job rights. Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining by [More...]

Town Hall Meetings: Creating a More Dynamic Union

June 8, 2018 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO There was standing room only as more than 300 DC 37 members jammed the conference room at the offices of the Human Resources Administration in Brooklyn. They came to meet with Executive Director Henry Garrido and DC 37 local leaders to talk about workplace issues, the status of contract negotiations, and to learn about vital services and benefits offered by the union. The May 2 event kicked off a month-long series of union town hall meetings at workplaces across the city. Members listened intently as Garrido updated them on contract negotiations. He expressed concern about the increasing cost of health care and emphasized the union’s commitment to preserving member benefits. His observation that “We need a raise and we need it now” drew an eruption of applause. And he made it clear that the union is pursuing paid family leave. “City workers deserve paid [More...]

DC 37 Carries Out Town Hall Meetings on the Value of Unions

May 29, 2018 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO There was standing room only as more than 300 union members jammed the conference room at the offices of the Human Resources Administration in Brooklyn for a town hall style meeting. Members came to hear DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido talk about the fight with the city for a new contract and the upcoming decision in the Janus v. AFSCME case before the U.S. Supreme Court, which is expected to make its ruling by the end of June. If the decision goes against AFSCME, it could cripple DC 37 and public employee unions throughout the country. Janus argues that the mandatory collection of union dues violates the individual’s constitutional right to freedom of speech. “This decision is the start of a bigger attack,” said Garrido. He pointed to Wisconsin and how workers there lost their collective bargaining power once it became a right-to-work state. [More...]

Defend Our Jobs and Benefits

May 2, 2018 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO Members of a DC 37 delegation were among the thousands of people who visited Memphis, Tenn., last month to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. We feel a personal connection to the tragedy on April 14, 1968, because the civil rights leader was in Memphis to support striking sanitation workers represented by our national union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. King described the goals of the civil rights movement and labor movement as intertwined. He recognized that unions built our middle class. “The labor movement was the principal force that transformed misery and despair into hope and progress,” King said. “Out of its bold struggles, economic and social reform gave birth to unemployment insurance, old age pensions, government relief for the destitute, and, above all, new wage levels [More...]

Please Attend DC 37 Town Halls Scheduled for May

April 19, 2018 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE The union is under attack. Our collective future is at stake. As the nation waits for the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court on Janus v. AFSCME District Council 31, DC 37 and you — the members — have many questions about the future of your union after the ruling by the court, which could go against us. The Janus case aims to undercut unions by reducing the vital funds used to negotiate with management for raises and benefits, handle grievances and fight for workplace rights. In reality, Janus is a carefully crafted assault on our freedoms to organize and to bargain fairly with our employers for wages and benefits. But DC 37 is fighting back. We are educating and organizing, explaining our future, and answering your questions as the clock ticks down to the court’s decision. Please attend a DC 37 Town Hall Please join DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido and local [More...]

The Court Attack

April 5, 2018 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO In the next few months, we expect the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on Janus v. AFSCME, a court case that aims to cripple public employee unions. Janus argues that the mandatory collection of union dues violates the individual’s constitutional right to freedom of speech. A ruling against unions would entitle non-members to union benefits for free, placing a great financial burden on unions. But my concern here is not to get wrapped up in an abstract philosophical or legal discussion. I want to make clear what’s at stake and to talk about our long-term strategy for living in a post-Janus world if the court goes against us. What Janus is really about is politics and power. The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is bankrolling the case. The foundation is tied to the State Policy Network, which brings together nearly 100 right-wing think tanks whose goal is to [More...]

Under Attack, Working People Across the Country Rise Up for Freedom

February 27, 2018 // 2 Comments

Working people across the country are demanding an end to our nation’s rigged economy as the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments today in Janus v. AFSCME, a case funded by wealthy special interests to attack workers and their unions. Hundreds of working people spoke out in front of the nation’s highest court with pride and passion about the value of unions to public service workers. Many of those making their voices heard were minorities, who would be especially hard hit if the court rules against working people. “If the Supreme Court’s decision is based on merit, on facts and on the law, there’s no doubt they will rule in favor of working people,” said AFSCME Pres. Lee Saunders. “In the face of ruthless, dishonest attacks against their freedom to come together in strong unions, working people are drawing the line. We stand united in fighting a rigged system that [More...]

Local 1549 Members are Ready to Repel a Right-wing Effort to Kill Off Public Employee Unions

February 14, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Local 1549 members met to prepare a fight back against the efforts of right-wing groups to destroy public service unions and dismantle government services. During the conference held on Feb. 3, union leaders briefed members about the U.S. Supreme Court case, Janus v. AFSCME. This case threatens to financially starve public sector unions by allowing workers who are not members to receive services for free. “We face perhaps the greatest attack in the history of unions,” Local 1549 Executive Vice President Alma Roper said. “We need to stand up and be strong.” Ralph Palladino, the local’s 2nd vice president, spoke of the threat posed by the right-wing network and the efforts of the Trump administration and the Republican-dominated U.S. Congress to deeply scale back funding for Medicaid and other services. After passing a new tax law that provides major cuts [More...]

Workers on Janus: A Political Effort to Further Rig the Rules Against Working People

September 28, 2017 // 0 Comments

On Sept. 28, the U.S. Supreme Court decided to hear Janus v. AFSCME Council 31. This court case is the latest attempt by anti-union forces to take away public workers’ hard-won freedoms to organize, negotiate for fair pay and working conditions, as well as to strip them of their benefits. The following statement was issued by members and leaders of AFSCME, AFT, NEA, and SEIU – the nation’s four largest public sector unions – in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to grant Certiorari in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31: The Janus case is a blatantly political and well-funded plot to use the highest court in the land to further rig the economic rules against everyday working people. The billionaire CEOs and corporate interests behind this case, and the politicians who do their bidding, have teamed up to deliver yet another attack on working people by striking at the [More...]