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Resolutions & Amendments

41st International Convention - Chicago, IL (2014)

Beyond the Challenge of Harris v. Quinn

Resolution No. 88
41st International Convention
McCormick Place
July 14 - 18, 2014
Chicago, IL


            A majority of the current U.S. Supreme Court has shown a hostility to workers and workers’ rights; and


            The most recent attack on workers came on June 30, 2014, in the Harris v. Quinn decision, where the Court undermined the voices of home care and other independent providers.  By undercutting these workers’ rights to speak out effectively to improve their working conditions, the Court majority made it harder for them to achieve economic justice and further tilted the playing field in favor of the wealthiest among us at the expense of those most economically disadvantaged; and


            In its decision, the majority of the Court demonstrated an alarming lack of understanding of the modern economy and workers’ places in it. The Court’s opinion made clear the animosity the right wing Justices have towards workers and their chosen unions, especially public service unions.  Indeed, the Court has invited further attacks on AFSCME and other unions of public workers and it is clear the Court is not satisfied at undermining the voices of independent providers, but may seek to deny all public workers an effective voice at work; and


            The Supreme Court’s decision in Harris v. Quinn places at risk a system of consumer-directed home care that has proved successful in raising wages while providing affordable care and improving the quality of care. The decision may also impede progress in developing high quality family child care and the availability of essential medical interpretation services.  Workers who perform these vital services have chosen to join together in our union to collectively speak out about their work, but the Supreme Court seeks to silence their voices; and


            A single court case will not dampen our resolve, nor will it silence us. AFSCME members know that the people we elect determine the quality of our lives and our livelihood and even determine who sits on the Supreme Court.



            AFSCME will continue its campaign to recruit non-members to AFSCME membership in all of our units so that we may continue to speak in a loud, clear voice in pursuit of economic and social justice; and


            AFSCME will work with a broad coalition of allies to restore greater balance to the U.S. Supreme Court so that our voices will continue to be heard and that workers’ rights are not undermined as the Court turns the First Amendment on its head; and


            AFSCME will work with partners and allies to mobilize our communities in protest of the Supreme Court’s rightward tilt.  Our goal is to educate the public about how the Court is relinquishing its traditional role as guardian of our values and the Constitution in favor of a pro-corporate agenda that disregards the interests of ordinary citizens.