On Wednesday, the Supreme Court issued a 5-4 ruling that public sector unions can no longer collect fees from public employees who opt not to be union members yet are covered by and profit from all of the benefits that unions achieve.
A statement from Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority and Feminist Majority Foundation:
“The Supreme Court has overturned a 40-year precedent, weaponizing the First Amendment in order to rig the economy for the rich and powerful at the expense of social workers, teachers, and first responders. This is a civil rights and women’s rights issue that will impact some five million workers who live in the 22 states where all public employees currently pay union fees. This will especially impact Black women, who are disproportionately represented in public sector jobs.
“All union-covered public sector employees benefit from bargaining, contract negotiation, and representation. Union fees are critical to funding these efforts, the results of which are equitable pay for women and people of color, affordable healthcare, and quality schools for millions of public employees, whether they elect to be members of the union or not.
“This decision comes down as teachers across the country have walked-out of their classrooms, demanding livable wages and adequate resources for their students. Many of these teachers live in states that have already taken significant steps to weaken public sector unions. They are the canaries in the coal mines, but they are also the blueprints for how we move forward.
“We knew that Justice Gorsuch was going to oppose workers’ rights, which is why the right-wing fought so hard to steal that nomination from President Obama. But we refuse to be deterred. Support for unions is growing, and the Feminist Majority/Feminist Majority Foundation will work every day to support their valuable work for women and families.”###