Outrage As Gorsuch Feted at Trump Hotel by Financiers of New Anti-Union SCOTUS Case
The SCOTUS is determining the fate of trade unions
In February 2015, NPR published an interactive graphic on their site which showcased the percentage of workers in unions from 1964-2014 in each of the 50 states. As is to be expected, if one were to slide the meter all the way, they would see that the vast majority of states have less than 15 percent of people in unions compared to the 25-40 percent range of the early 60s.
One could draw many associations between the decline of unions and the quality of blue collar workers in this country. Wages are stagnant, the wealth gap has grown tremendously, and many corporations are still not paying their fair share of taxes despite increased scrutiny.
This makes it all the more important that we work together to grow the strength of labor unions. Unfortunately, that task is only going to be harder if an upcoming case from the Supreme Court goes the wrong way. Called Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, this will be another landmark decision as it deals with an issue that affects the working-class everywhere, and that is wage negotiation between public-sector unions and companies.
What happened was an Illinois employee by the name of Mark Janus became angry when he was required to pay a fee to the local trade union involved in negotiating the salaries of his company. As such, he sued and his case has ultimately reached the highest court in the land. As The New York Times reports:
“In the labor case, the court will consider whether public-sector unions may require workers who are not members to help pay for collective bargaining. If the court’s answer is no, unions would probably lose a substantial source of revenue.”
In other words, the court will determine whether or not unions will be able to raise money from non-union workers in order to support things that benefit everyone as a whole. As one can expect, the conservative argument runs around this idea of personal freedom: that people who are not a part of unions should not have to financially support their negotiation attempts. However, much like the nature of “right-to-work” laws, this is a sly polemic that hides the truth, which is that non-union workers ultimately reap the rewards of trade unions.
As the Supreme Court themselves argued back in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education (1977), this simply is not fair. Therefore, when it comes to at least the issue of collective bargaining, everyone has to help foot the bill. While we hope they will maintain the same reasoning, a problem arises in the form of Neil Gorsuch.
The newly appointed conservative justice gained notoriety for being the product of Republican cheating. While the vacant seat of Antonin Scalia should have gone to President Obama’s pick Merrick Garland in 2016, Republican opposition from Mitch McConnell lead to Garland not even getting a hearing, allowing Trump to pick Gorsuch the following year.
Anyone hoping that Gorsuch will remain objective has only to look at his recent luncheon and speech at the Trump International Hotel with The Fund for American Studies, a conservative group supporting Janus’s case. Luckily enough citizens got a hold of the information and held a protest outside critiquing Gorsuch for violating the Emoluments Clause.
Hopefully other people will now learn the consequences of protest voting.
Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images
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