The right-wing, anti-worker majority on the Supreme Court issued a ruling today against public-sector workers and their unions. In Janus v. AFSCME, five of the Supreme Court justices agreed with the billionaire- and corporate-funded National Right to Work Committee that public-sector unions should not be allowed to collect “fair share” fees from the workers they represent.
On Monday, June 11, members of UE Local 228 participated in the Poor People's Campaign action at the New Hampshire state house in Concord to demand a living wage and a reversal of the assault on the rights of organized workers. The state of New Hampshire abolished its state minimum wage in 2011.
Retired UE Director of Organization Bob Kingsley joined the Poor People’s Campaign labor rights protest at the US Capitol and Supreme Court yesterday. Brother Kingsley was there as part of the legal team tasked with tracking arrests and getting demonstrators out of jail.
There were nearly 100 arrests for civil disobedience. Most arrestees were processed and released. Nine arrested in front of the Supreme Court spent the night in jail. Two of those arrested yesterday had addressed recent UE Conventions.
The UE General Executive Board, meeting in Pittsburgh from June 5-8, 2018, adopted a following statement endorsing and calling for support of the Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future (OFF) Act, HR 3671, and the Clean Energy Worker Just Transition Act.
The UE General Executive Board, meeting in Pittsburgh from June 5-8, 2018, adopted a statement condemning the killing of Palestinian protesters and attacks on the First Amendment rights of Americans to engage in peaceful protest of Israel's military policies.
UE General President Peter Knowlton sent a letter today to the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU). Former KCTU President Han Sang-gyun was released from prison this week after being unjustly imprisoned for leading protests against the corrupt government of former President Park Geun-hye.
Two UE-backed candidates, both women in their 30s, made history and shook up Pittsburgh’s political establishment by winning primary elections on May 15th against incumbent state legislators. Both of the defeated incumbents are members of the Costa family which has, until recently, played an outsized role in Democratic Party politics in Pittsburgh. Speaking to the UE Eastern Region, Local 610 President Antwon Gibson described the Costas as “a family of politicians who don't do anything for working people.” No Republicans have filed to run in either district.
“We applaud Senator Sanders and Congressman Pocan for filing the Workplace Democracy Act legislation,” said UE General President Peter Knowlton, who attended the press conference announcing the legislation. “Workers’ rights are core values of any democracy. Providing strong uncompromising legal protection for workers to organize, gain a collective bargaining agreement, and resolve conflicts with their employer are fundamental. This legislation will provide workers with stronger legal protections to exercise their basic first amendment rights: to speak, assemble, and to organize.”
UE welcomes the “Panmunjom Declaration” agreement between South Korea and North Korea. In the early 1950s, delegates to UE conventions called for negotiations to end the Korean War. In a similar vein, we urge the U.S. government, which along with China will be a party to formal talks to end the war, to pursue the path of peace and diplomacy, withdraw its nuclear preemptive strike policy, and discontinue military exercises in the region involving nuclear strategic assets. UE delegates have consistently supported this approach as part of our convention resolution, “For Jobs, Peace, and a Pro-Worker Foreign Policy.”
UE General Counsel Irene Thomas attended the February 26 arguments of Janus v. AFSCME at the U.S. Supreme Court.
On February 26, 2018, the long-awaited face-off between the American Labor Movement and the national right-to-work committee took place at the United States Supreme Court. The case: Janus v. AFSCME. At issue is whether public employee unions can collect “fair share” or “agency shop” fees from objecting non-members to defray the cost of collective bargaining, contract administration and grievance adjustment. Regardless of whether the issue is one of free speech or freedom of association, a principled application of Supreme Court precedent means that plaintiff Mark Janus should pay up for the benefits he takes home on the backs of his dues-paying co-workers.