Yesterdays Ruling

Brothers & Sisters,

We have never depended on any politician or judge to decide our fate and we aren’t about to start now.

It comes as no surprise that the extremist Supreme Court made it harder for workers to get ahead with today’s ruling in the Janus case. The Court ruling makes the entire public sector “Right to Work” for less meaning public sector workers can gain all the benefits of a union – just cause protections, a pension, seniority, higher wages, safer workplaces, representation, and more – without contributing a nickel.

For decades, wealthy elites and big coprorations have sought to weaken workers' ability to band together and bargain for a better life. Today the highest court in the land did their bidding. Taking away the freedoms of working people to join together in union is the primary goal, and eliminating fair share fees for public employees is the latest tactic.

So, what’s next? What to do? We take inspiration from West Virginia striking teachers who just attended our Maine AFL-CIO COPE Convention. Operating in a “Right to Work” state without any legal collective bargaining rights or legal right to strike, they shared their stories of organizing a nine day statewide strike, building deep community support, growing their unions through the process and staying out until their demands were met. Their organizing, militancy and vision won all five of their demands.

As a UAW organizer said in 1936 while building the CIO, “There is no future unless we make the future.”   So lets band together and keep building a workers’ movement. Here are three ways that you can help immediately:

1.     Take a photo of yourself, your co-workers, friends or family holding your own Norma Rae-styled “Union” sign and post it to social media. See examples here. Please reply to me if you posted a union selfie. We will share it.

2.     Like our Maine AFL-CIO Facebook page and share our content. We will be putting up a lot of content about this ruling and unions as a public good. Please share it.

3.     Register for our 2018 Labor Summer Institute August 8-9 at the University of Maine Orono Campus. This is a great two day movement building school designed to build relationships, develop skills and plot a vision to build the labor movement. Register today by clicking here.

 

All across Maine and the country, working people are hungry for a better life. After decades of stagnant wages and eroding economic security, working people are ready to build power through collective action. Workers need unions more than ever. Its up to all of us to do the organizing and develop the vision to make that happen.

Thanks for all that you do every day. Its time to double down.

In Solidarity,

Matt and the Maine AFL-CIO.