President’s Report – July 2018

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07/18/2018

This President’s Report brings with it very news bad news and with that bad news comes a call to action.

As most of you know by now the Supreme Court ruled against unions in Janus vs AFSCME dealing a huge blow to public-sector unions and the labor movement in general. This now means that public-sector employees around the nation will no longer have to pay fees or dues to their unions, even if those unions collectively bargain on behalf of those employees, negatively impacting union membership and revenues nationwide.

That was the second major anti-labor ruling the Supreme Court has made this year. In May, in the case of Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, the court ruled in favor of employment contracts that banned class-actions against employers. Tens of millions of Americans are employed under contracts that require individual arbitration over collective actions. The inability for employees to take collective action potentially allows employers to be less accountable to employees, and would deter employees from taking the time, cost, and effort needed to resolve individual arbitration, effectively silencing their concerns. [8] 

Finally, last week, Brett Kavanaugh was put forward as the nominee to replace Justice Kennedy on the United States Supreme Court. From a labor stand point, this is very bad news. Mr. Kavanaugh’s record indicates that he like the conservative justices he would join at the Supreme Court, will clearly side with corporations and employers in workplace disputes. If confirmed, he would almost certainly continue the Supreme Court’s ugly run of corporate friendly, anti-labor, anti-union rulings in precedent-setting cases.

These are major setbacks for the labor movement and unions. We have seen difficult times before and we will not let this weaken our resolve to stand up and fight for our rights. We must take action. There are many things we can do and one of them starts with your most fundamental right as an American. Get out and vote! This coming November 6th, North and South Carolina will hold elections for local, and state officials, as well as for the US House of Representatives. It will be our best chance to turn these negative trends around. By electing officials that value and support the labor movement and unions 100%, we can provide a much needed counter balance to a Supreme Court that has clearly demonstrated that is not on the side of labor or unions.

 

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