Members of Congress Spoke Out for Workers, Against Forces Behind Janus

By Pete Levine ·

Members of Congress are speaking up for working families seeking to join together in strong unions, making it clear that attacks on the right to bargain collectively are attacks on freedom.

Members of Congress spoke during a special hour of debate organized by the Congressional Black Caucus late Monday. They denounced the forces behind the Janus v. AFSCME Council 31 Supreme Court case – corporate interests and wealthy special interests that seek to rig the system against working families’ freedom to negotiate fair wages for themselves and their families.

Members voiced their outrage at a rigged system that shifts power to the wealthy while undermining public workers’ right to have a seat at the bargaining table.

“We must ensure that working people, people of color – everyone – continues to have the right to join a union,” said Rep. Barbara Lee (D-California). “It's the right thing for our economy and right thing for our community.”

Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Virginia) affirmed the importance of protecting unions – not just for working families, but for entire communities.

“Just this month, when temperatures plunged to dangerous lows, the Baltimore Teacher’s Union fought for children who are forced to bundle up in coats and hats in their own classrooms because there was no heat in their schools,” said Scott. “It is crucial for Congress to defend against any attacks to undermine workers' freedom to negotiate for better wages and better working conditions.”

Meanwhile, Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-New York) pointed to the harsh irony facing workers today: “Here we are in the wealthiest nation in the world, where millionaires and billionaires are lining their pockets with profits, and at the same time, we have workers who are before the Supreme Court just seeking dignity to be organized through labor and labor unions.”

Their solidarity – alongside other congressional leaders – shows that working families are not alone in their fight for the freedom to come together in strong unions.