David Gross: Rallies will support union protections

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Published: 2/20/2018 7:14:58 PM
Rallies will support union workers’ protections

Feb. 26 will be an important day for public sector workers. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31, a case funded by the Koch brothers and corporate billionaires to slash public services and undermine unions.

The aim of these anti-union, pro-corporate forces is to reduce the ability of public unions to serve workers by removing the requirement that all public workers who are protected by a union-negotiated contract should share the cost of maintaining the contract.

Currently, public employees covered by a contract are free to join or not join the union that supports the contract. Those employees not joining the union as dues-paying members must pay a fee that covers the cost of maintaining the contract.

The explicit goal of the Janus case is to allow those employees to be free riders and pay nothing at all. All workers would still be entitled to union representation for workplace problems, and would receive the same contractual rights, raises and benefits as union members.

This union-busting ploy is the law in “right to work” (or “right to work for less” as it’s often called) states. Janus, if it succeeds, will make this the law of the land, the long-held dream of corporate America to undermine worker protections afforded by unionization. With Donald Trump in the White House and Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court, this dream could become reality.

Union members across the state will be holding rallies on the Working People’s Day of Action on Feb. 26 including rallies in Amherst and Springfield. I encourage you to declare your support for union workers by joining me and others at a rally near you.

David Gross


Daily Hampshire Gazette Office

115 Conz Street
Northampton, MA 01061


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