AFSCME’s Response to Supreme Court Ruling in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association
“Today, the Supreme Court left standing nearly four decades of precedent and sound law that has worked for public employers and working people alike. This marks a significant defeat for the wealthy special interests who want to hijack our economy, our democracy, and even the United States Supreme Court. Millions of teachers, nurses, firefighters, and other public service workers will continue to be able to band together in a union in order to speak up for one another, improve their communities, and hold the wealthy and powerful accountable.
“The Constitution, the law, and the facts are on our side, and we remain confident that we will continue to prevail against the onslaught of baseless litigation from those focused on trying to silence working people in order to benefit themselves at the expense of the rest of us.
“Today’s decision sends a strong message to our opponents that the Supreme Court is not open to do the business of right wing organizations seeking to win through judicial decree what they have been unable to win through the democratic process. Our courts should be reserved for legal disputes, not political agendas.
“This case provides a vivid illustration of what’s at stake when it comes to the Supreme Court. That is why the same wealthy special interests who manufactured this attack on working people are also trying to prevent President Obama from fulfilling his constitutional responsibility to fill the vacancy on the Court. It’s time for conservatives to stop playing games with the Supreme Court.”
Politics shapes our jobs whether we work in nursing homes or health clinics, on the highways, in airports, or in schools and colleges. Laws and policies enacted at the state and federal level affect our paychecks and how and where we work. Gains made at the bargaining table result from relationships we’ve forged with our political allies and AFSCME-supported elected officials.
You say politics doesn’t matter? In November 2006, AFSCME and union-led GOTV efforts changed the balance of power in this country replacing pro-business state and federal politicians with elected officials who vote right on issues important to workers.
These victories ignited by thousands of members who contribute to AFSCME PEOPLE our union’s political action committee show what we can do when we have the right tools and enough resources.
Federal election laws restrict how we can use treasury funds, meaning we cannot rely on dues to make donations to political candidates. It is the voluntary contributions from members to AFSCME PEOPLE that enable us to support and elect pro-worker candidates as we did in 2006. Let’s face it: Big business is always a big spender for their candidates. Without our members’ voluntary contributions pro-worker candidates face incredible odds of getting elected.
No other group of workers in this country is tethered to politics as we are. The stakes are high-our wages, pensions and working conditions play out in a political arena at all levels of government. Let’s keep the momentum we have garnered since November 2006 and make the commitment to PEOPLE. Sign your payroll deduction card, or make that direct contribution today. Contributing $100 a year to AFSCME PEOPLE may seem like a small step but, collectively, thousands of members doing the same will help us keep those victories coming and strengthen us for the future.