Sandoval Janus Decision WebCHICAGO –The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that state workers may excuse themselves from union fair share dues in a landmark decision that weakens collective bargaining rights. 

Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago) said the Janus v. AFSCME ruling is detrimental to police, firefighters, state employees and anybody else who benefits from the wage-raising power of union bargaining.  

“This decision is a blow to the American Dream and the upward mobility that unions provide by protecting the rights of the worker,” Sandoval said. “It effectively weakens the bargaining power of unions by legally protecting ‘free riders’ – people who don’t pay the fees but benefit from the work of the unions.” 

Sandoval said the decision is another that demonstrates the reprehensible intent of the Republican Congress that refused to seat President Barack Obama’s pick for the Supreme Court in 2016 – pragmatist Merrick Garland.

“What we see here are the Trump chickens coming home to roost,” Sandoval said. “Republicans held Merrick Garland’s appointment hostage to sway the election and further their anti-middle class agenda. Now we are beginning to see the depths of the destruction these efforts have caused.”

Trump’s newest appointee – Justice Neil Gorsuch – broke a 4-4 tie from an earlier case with similar implications for labor unions. 

“It’s easy to take for granted the benefits unions have provided for the last century in the United States of America,” Sandoval said. “Unfortunately, it is one of those things that you don’t realize you have until it is gone, and this decision puts us in real danger of experiencing a world where unions are weakened to a point of powerlessness.”

Sandoval said rights secured by labor unions cannot be forgotten. They include hour limits, paid vacations, workplace safety conditions and living wages among many other benefits.

“I will always believe in the role organized labor and collective bargaining play in making our workplaces and communities strong,” Sandoval said. “Unions are resilient and they can overcome this obstacle. But to do so, the public will have to wake up and understand the dangers of creeping corporatist, anti-middle class power. Only then will working men and women be able to regain their footing against such a sinister foe.”

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Springfield Office:
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