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Trump Administration’s Position on Janus Is Yet Another Attack on Working People

The Trump administration sided with corporations and the wealthy in Janus v. AFSCME, which threatens workers’ ability to form strong unions.
Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images
By Pablo Ros ·

Many Americans who voted for Donald Trump are fed up with a rigged system that favors corporations and the wealthy at the expense of everyone else. They want an economy that works for them, too, and they want their voices to be heard.

But the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress have spent all year trying to rig the system even more in favor of corporations and extremely wealthy people. This includes trying to dismantle the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to fund tax cuts for the rich, and when that failed, pushing a tax bill that is a giveaway to corporations and the wealthy at the expense of everyone else.

Add to this list the latest from the Trump administration. On Wednesday, the Office of the Solicitor General weighed in on Janus v. AFSCME, a case before the Supreme Court that pits corporations and the wealthy against public service workers.

It was an opportunity for Trump to stand up for middle-class families, a chance for him to finally walk the walk when it came to his campaign promise to stand up for working people.

Instead, his administration sided with corporations and the superrich – the very funders of the case – and against workers who form strong unions. In doing so, the Trump administration gave two thumbs up to so-called “right to work” to become the law of the land.

But “right to work” is bad for working families. “Right-to-work” laws lead to lower wages for middle-class workers and weaker economic growth, and they threaten workers’ ability to form strong unions, as well as provide high-quality public services.

AFSCME Pres. Lee Saunders called the solicitor general’s court filing a “slap in the face to the working people Donald Trump pledged to lift up.”

“The ‘right-to-work’ law his administration has asked the highest court in the land to implement will drive wages down and fundamentally strip working people of the freedom to build power in numbers and negotiate a fair return on their work,” he said in a statement issued today by AFSCME, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the National Education Association (NEA) and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

Saunders added that the true motivation behind Janus is to please wealthy and powerful political donors who want to overturn the Supreme Court’s 1977 ruling in the Abood v. Detroit Board of Education case siding with working people.

“For the Solicitor General’s Office to reverse positions under the Trump administration – when they have argued in support of the Abood precedent twice in the past four years –  underscores the fact that this case is a purely political attack on the freedoms of working people,” Saunders said.

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