Ohio union members stand together, strong

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Decision won’t stop union growth as workers organize to give voice to shared values

(June 27, 2018) Today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of wealthy and corporate interests’ attempt to silence workers and their unions won’t stop our members from working to build a better life for themselves, those they serve and their communities.

Union members and supporters of workers' rights across the nation are standing together in solidarity, committed to their unions despite today's ruling against unions by the U.S. Supreme Court.

“We’re sticking with our union,” said OFT President Melissa Cropper. “Working people know that the things they want - decent pay, quality healthcare, safe workplaces and fair treatment - are what our union fights for.”

Cropper said the case itself while before the Court already has led to greater member activism and a stronger voice for workers.

“This decision today is a momentary triumph for the wealthy special interests who backed this lawsuit,” she said. “But the voices of working people will not go unheard. And unions, such as ours, remain the best way to make sure decision-makers - at work or in the halls of government - are listening.”

The Supreme Court’s decision, in a case called Janus v. AFSCME, invalidates state laws allowing labor unions to collect fees from everyone in a bargaining unit, including nonmembers, to pay the costs of bargaining and other representation the union is required to provide to everyone, including nonmembers.

Even though the decision overruled a precedent that had stood for more than 40 years, this outcome had been largely anticipated by labor leaders.

Acknowledging the short-term challenges presented by the decision, Cropper said the union already has taken steps to comply with the ruling.

“We have the commitment of our members to meet these challenges,” she said. “Our fight for our shared interests and values continues. We’re not going anywhere. This is just a new chapter in our fight against union busters who viciously attack the rights of working people like they tried to do with Senate Bill 5.

“Strong unions make strong communities,” she added. “Our members and the people they serve understand that, they lived it during our fight to beat back SB 5 and preserve workers' rights in Ohio.”

“This court got it wrong today,” she said. “But as we carry this fight forward - where our members work, in the communities they serve, and at the ballot box in November - we believe the court of public opinion will get this right.”