Statement of Attorney General Josh Shapiro on Supreme Court Case Involving Workers’ Organizing Rights

February 26, 2018 | Topic: Rights

Supreme Court Hears Argument in Janus v. AFSCME

HARRISBURG — As the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments today in Mark Janus v. AFSCME Council 31, a critical case involving “fair share” fees in public sector collective bargaining agreements, Attorney General Josh Shapiro issued the following statement supporting workers’ organizing rights.

“In Pennsylvania, public-employee unions play a vital role, from striving for fair wages to protecting workers’ rights,” Attorney General Shapiro said. “Unions give workers a voice and make government operate more effectively. Unions are required to represent all workers, even workers who don’t join the union. That’s why our state law recognizes that it’s only fair that employees who benefit from a union’s representation help pay for the cost of that representation. I’m proud to be part of a coalition of 21 Attorneys General fighting to protect unions and employees’ rights.”

The Attorneys General urge the Supreme Court to reject Mark Janus v. AFSCME Council 31, a case that seeks to overrule precedent settled in the 1977 Supreme Court case Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, which states have relied upon for decades to negotiate labor contracts and ensure labor peace and efficient provision of government services. The brief argues that the Supreme Court should defer to states’ judgment on how best to manage their workforces.

In addition to Attorney General Shapiro, the amicus brief was signed by the Attorneys General of Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia.

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