A decision could come any day now on a Supreme Court case–Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees–that will have a significant, detrimental impact on unions nationwide, including the American Federation of Teachers.
Those behind the Janus case want the court to overrule decades of precedent enabling public sector unions to charge a fair-share fee to nonmembers for the representation the unions are required to provide. The goal is to cripple labor unions, weaken workers’ rights, and further exacerbate the imbalance of power in our economic, political, and social systems. That’s why those behind Janus requested the Supreme Court to review the case right after the confirmation of Justice Neil Gorsuch, who has a record of siding with corporate interests against working people.
Texas, like 23 other states, is a right-to-work state, meaning that union membership is not required, so we have no nonmember fees here, and there won’t be any direct impact on our union here. AFT and other national public-sector unions, however, could suffer a decline in membership. AFT has been preparing for this decision and is actively working to sign up nonmembers and retain members by showing the value of our union.
The Chicago Sun Times read more about the intent of the case here.
What can you do in Texas? When the decision is announced, we’ll have a variety of ways you can show your support for your union brothers and sisters across the nation. And finally, if you are wondering who “Janus” is you can read more about him here and there’s a compelling account of how he’s benefitted from his union over the years.