Two days before the U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear arguments in a case that could have a devastating effect on working people's collective-bargaining rights, IBEW International President Lonnie R. Stephenson is encouraging members across the country to take part in a national "Working People's Day of Action."
Coordinated by Jobs with Justice, the day of action on Saturday, Feb. 24, aims to bring together tens of thousands of people for rallies against policies that rig the economy and the political system against working people.
Events are planned from San Diego to New York City and from Chicago to Miami. Click here to review the latest list of rally sites. (If you can’t find a site near you, click here for another way that you can stand in solidarity with rally-goers.)
The following Monday, the Supreme Court is expected to hear arguments in a case known as Janus v. AFSCME Council 31, a challenge to a 40-year-old unanimous decision by the court (Abood v. Detroit Board of Education) that has allowed public-sector unions to collect “fair-share fees” from non-members to fund collective bargaining and other activities that benefit all of a shop’s members.
Mark Janus, a state government employee in Illinois, is arguing that being required to pay such fees — in his case, to AFSCME Council 31 — is a violation of his First Amendment rights, despite the fact that fair-share fees cannot also be used to bankroll lobbying or other political types of engagement.
“If the court rules in favor of Janus and overturns the Abood decision,” Stephenson said, “it could free public-sector employees across the U.S. to continue enjoying the benefits of union representation without having to pay for it.
“If you think that sounds like right-to-work,” he said, “you would be right, because that’s exactly what it is — and it’s what could allow this case to set a precedent that’s dangerous to the rights of all working people in the U.S.”
Visit itsaboutfreedom.org to learn more.