Summer 2019 is a ripe time for anniversaries.
Today marks one year since Janus v. AFSCME, when the U.S. Supreme Court struck a victory for government worker rights by banning forced union dues. This month, Americans for Fair Treatment is also looking back on a year of fruitful work since we ramped up our outreach efforts with our Free to Serve project.
We’ve seen success in the last year in two main ways: we’re getting the word out, and workers are speaking up.
Through mailers, blogs, and online marketing, we’ve been busy telling Pennsylvania’s 330,000 government workers about their Janus rights. It’s important because many still don’t know their options. They’re unaware that they can now resign from their union and no longer pay non-member fair share fees, or change the type of union representation they have. What’s more, it’s become clear that the fossilized and heavy-handed state and national unions don’t want workers to know their rights.
In the meantime, being informed and empowered is giving workers the courage to speak up and fight for their rights. Several AFFT members, like John Kabler or Francisco Molina, have gone on separately to participate in potentially precedent-setting post-Janus litigation. Others, like Cheri Gensel or Katy Phillips, have become powerful defenders of post-Janus legislation in the media. And AFFT continues to build relationships with dozens of public sector workers across the state, which includes influential labor leaders like Mike Rossi, the 40-year president of an AFL-CIO affiliate.
In short, it’s been a very good year. Here’s to the next one—and to you, our members and advocates for workplace freedom!