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Supreme Court Overturns Longstanding Labor Law, Forces Unions to Represent Workers for Free

National Council of Jewish Women
1707 L Street NW, Suite 950
Washington, DC 20036-4206

Contact: Amanda Lang
Director of Marketing and Communications


Supreme Court Overturns Longstanding Labor Law,
Forces Unions to Represent Workers for Free

June 27, 2018, Washington, DC – The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) today expressed its strong disagreement with the Supreme Court’s ruling in Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees. NCJW CEO Nancy K. Kaufman released the following statement:

“For the second time this week, the Supreme Court has abused the first amendment to achieve a political purpose. In Janus, the Supreme Court delivers another blow, this time against collective bargaining. By ruling that an employee in the public sector covered by such an agreement need not contribute to the cost of bargaining and contract administration, the court is substantially weakening the ability of public sector workers to improve their pay, benefits, and working conditions. It is also effectively overruling and disrupting existing labor relations laws, regulations, and policies in 20 states.

“With this ruling, which dismisses longstanding precedent, the court adopts a theory that since the employer is the government, everything a union does is ‘a matter of public concern’ and therefore a non-union member of the bargaining unit cannot be compelled to help pay for the representation that increases his or her pay or benefits. The law will continue to compel unions to represent employees through collective bargaining and in individual grievance procedures, while no longer requiring such ’free riders’ to pay their fair share.

“By hindering a union’s ability to do its job effectively, the court has delivered another blow against economic justice, particularly for women, who make up a majority of the union-represented public sector workforce. Weakening unions weakens women’s power in the workplace.

“NCJW, as a proponent of women and all workers, is dismayed by this decision and determined to use our collective power across the country to ensure that unions thrive now and in the future.”

The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms. More information on Facebook and on Twitter at @NCJW.

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