The new Friedrichs case: Janus vs AFSCME
March 1, 2017: AFSCME Statement on Oral Arguments before 7th Circuit Court in Janus Case
AFSCME Pres. Lee Saunders issued the following statement about oral arguments today before the United States 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. The court is hearing arguments in Janus v. AFSCME, a case out of Illinois that represents a renewed effort by corporate and special interest groups to upend the longstanding rights of people who work in public service – people like teachers, firefighters, nurses, and social workers – to come together, speak up for their communities, and get ahead:
“It is clear that the corporate CEOs and wealthy special interests behind this case will stop at nothing to make it harder for public service workers like teachers, firefighters, nurses, and public safety workers to speak up together for better public services, stronger communities, and wages and protections that benefit all Americans. Our economy is out of balance, manipulated to benefit those who are already wealthy, and this case could make it even worse.
“From child-protection investigators to nurses to first responders, public service workers go neighborhood to neighborhood, working to keep their communities safe, healthy and strong. It is their ability to band together with their co-workers as a union to speak up for better staff levels, training, and safety procedures that enable them to keep their communities running smoothly. It would be shameful to see the Circuit Court of Appeals decide the case in favor of wealthy special interests and put the working families and communities at risk.”
Friedrichs vs CTA UPDATE:
On March 29, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a 4-4 ruling in the Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association case. While we can be relieved that this is a victory for working people everywhere, we must remain strong and vigilant because the attacks on workers and unions will continue. Please see the following news release from our coalition, America Works Together:
America Works Together Statement in to Response 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.”