Brothers and Sisters -
Many of you have requested that we continue to provide updates on the Janus v AFSCME case that threatens the resources that support our ability to continue to stand together and negotiate strong contracts.
The US Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in the case on February 26. We are expecting a decision sometime this spring.
If the court rules as we expect, you will no longer have the freedom to negotiate union security clauses in your contract. This means that public workers would be able to abandon their union membership, but continue to receive all of the benefits of representation without having to pay for it.
It may sound appealing – no union dues – but the reality is that your wages and health benefits could be cut and your contractual rights weakened in an open shop environment if we don’t stick together and defend our union.
Wealthy special interest groups like the "Freedom" Foundation may even try to trick you into “opting out” of paying your fair share.
We’ve launched a campaign called Family – Strength - Community to prepare for the Janus ruling and to defend against these attacks. Members are talking to members about how we can get ready for open shop. Over a thousand Teamsters have already signed cards committing to each other and their union.
In Washington State, workers must not experience the same erosion of rights that workers in Wisconsin have been suffering. Wages and health care benefits plunged after that state passed laws that attacked public workers’ right to collectively bargain.
If you have any questions about open shop or about the Janus case, talk to a shop steward or your union representative. You can also email me directly.
Thank you for all that you do. And thank you for your membership in Teamsters 117.