The corporate interests behind the Janus v. AFSCME case may think they won big with today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling, but history teaches us that working people will not be denied and will continue to organize, unionize and build power to support the public good.
As educators in West Virginia, Arizona, Oklahoma, Kentucky, North Carolina and elsewhere have shown, mistreated educators — even those in so-called Right to Work states — have the courage they need to demand fairness not only for themselves, but also for their students.
"Through the union, we have the power to stand up for our profession, our students and our rights, and for racial and economic justice and the schools and colleges our communities deserve."MTA President Barbara Madeloni
The same interests that were behind Janus tried to undermine unions and privatize Massachusetts public schools by spending millions of dollars in dark money to win Question 2 in 2016. And they lost. Badly. This struggle inspired educators in West Virginia. Educators and unionists across the country are learning from each other, inspiring each other, and using our collective power to win the best for public education and for our communities.
The corporate billionaires have won this case in the Supreme Court thanks to President Donald Trump’s appointment of Justice Neil Gorsuch, but they will lose their battle against working men and women — and against the interests of our communities — in the court of public opinion. Moreover, they will ultimately fail to achieve their goal of taking away the rights of workers.
We are confident that the vast majority of our members will recommit themselves to the union despite this terrible ruling because they understand that collectively we are stronger than each of us is individually. Through the union, we have the power to stand up for our profession, our students and our rights, and for racial and economic justice and the schools and colleges our communities deserve.
Make no mistake about it: The Janus case had nothing to do with what is good for students and everything to do with the Koch brothers and other billionaires wanting to weaken and privatize education and other public services for their own profit, regardless of the impact on families and communities.
But we won’t let them succeed. We will fight back and we will win.