The Anti-Worker Forces Behind a U.S. Supreme Court Case

by Clyde Weiss  |  October 30, 2015

The Anti-Worker Forces Behind a U.S. Supreme Court Case

A case to be decided next year by the U.S. Supreme Court, which could make it significantly harder for workers to have a voice on the job through their unions, is being pushed by a litany of extremist groups with ties to the billionaire Koch brothers, according to an article in The American Prospect.

The author of this important article, Adele M. Stan, says the “real force” pushing the case, called Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, is the Center for Individual Rights (CIR), a group whose financial backers “reads like a who’s who of the right’s organized opposition to labor. A number of those funders, unsurprisingly, enjoy the support of Charles and David Koch, the billionaire brothers who are principals in Koch Industries, the second-largest privately held corporation in the United States.”

The Koch brothers, who are pushing their corporate-driven agenda throughout the political arena with enormous contributions to political candidates, are funding think tanks and other groups that have filed legal briefs supporting plaintiffs in the Friedrichs case, The American Prospect reports. “They include the Cato Institute, the National Right to Work Legal Defense Fund, and the Mackinac Center, a major force behind the 2012 anti-union legislation enacted in Michigan.” Learn more about those groups and their extremist agenda here.

Even if the Koch brothers and their allies do not win this case before the Supreme Court, Stan concludes that they “will run yet another suit through the courts in their decades-long effort to destroy unions.”

For America’s working families, this will be a continued threat to their ability to lift themselves up, and improve their jobs and communities, through collective bargaining.

Stan’s article, entitled “Who’s Behind Friedrichs?” is a sobering reminder of what’s at stake in the next election. What happens in the Supreme Court matters, and a President who can appoint justices for life must be one who believes in the rights of workers and the importance of unions. That’s why AFSCME endorsed Secretary Hillary Clinton for President. Read why here.

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