Working people across the country are demanding an end to our nation’s rigged economy as the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments today in Janus v. AFSCME, a case funded by wealthy special interests to attack workers and their unions.
Hundreds of working people spoke out in front of the nation’s highest court with pride and passion about the value of unions to public service workers. Many of those making their voices heard were minorities, who would be especially hard hit if the court rules against working people.
“If the Supreme Court’s decision is based on merit, on facts and on the law, there’s no doubt they will rule in favor of working people,” said AFSCME Pres. Lee Saunders. “In the face of ruthless, dishonest attacks against their freedom to come together in strong unions, working people are drawing the line. We stand united in fighting a rigged system that rewards the super-wealthy at everyone else’s expense. And we will not rest until we build an economy where everyone has a voice on the job, a seat at the table and a chance to succeed.”
Corey Upchurch, a school bus driver in Washington, D.C., who is a member of AFSCME Local 1959 (Council 20), said his ability to provide a good public service is at stake.
“If the Supreme Court rules against working families in the Janus case, the ability for me and public service workers like me to serve our communities will be hurt,” he said. “The power that we have to come together in strong unions to fight for the people we serve – to fight for ourselves – is being chipped away by billionaires and the politicians who do their bidding.”
Throughout February, working people have been more energized and organized than at any time in recent memory. There have been nationwide moments of silence and fast food strikes to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Memphis sanitation workers’ strike.
This past Saturday, tens of thousands of working people and union allies attended the Working People’s Day of Action to call attention to the rigged economic and political systems and the corporate interests and billionaires behind this dangerous effort. Events took place in places like New York, Washington, Philadelphia, Chicago, Memphis, Madison and many more.