Cuomo, Collins, unions react to Supreme Court decision

Staff Reports Posted 27 June 2018 at 12:25 pm

The Supreme Court has struck down an Illinois law that requires public sector employees to pay union dues.

Congressman Chris Collins, R-Clarence, is praising the 5-4 ruling in Janus vs. AFSCME while Gov. Andrew Cuomo said it erodes the strength of unions and their advocacy for working class families.

Congressman Collins: “Today’s Supreme Court decision is a big win for government workers who, for far too long, have been forced to pay union fees in support of causes they are fundamentally against. Forcing an individual to join a political organization or government union goes against one of the greatest freedoms we are granted as Americans, the right to free speech. Any violation of the First Amendment is counter to the values our nation was founded upon and I applaud today’s monumental decision.”

Gov. Cuomo issued a lengthy statement, including this: “The Janus decision was the result of years of planning at right-wing conferences, funded by billionaires, to strip away protections that cost them money. But American history proves that the future belongs to those who are willing to work for it. We will continue to do everything in our power to protect and strengthen organized labor. Together, we can build a better American Dream than the impoverished one outlined by this decision. In the state of New York, the future of labor is bright.”

CSEA President Danny Donohue: “It’s outrageous that the Supreme Court caved to greedy corporate CEOs and the wealthy instead of supporting the rights of hardworking Americans. Let me be clear. This case wasn’t about fairness or even free speech. It was just another scheme for the rich to get richer by destroying unions and silencing working people. I can tell you right now it’s not going to work.

“Our members won’t be fooled into giving up everything unions have fought so hard for. Workers in New York, the most unionized state in the country, know the value strong unions provide workers, families and communities. Our members will stick with our union because unions help workers get better wages and health benefits, improve workplace safety, and protect their pensions.”

New York State Public Employees Federation President Wayne Spence: “Today’s decision from the U.S. Supreme Court comes as no surprise. This case, Janus v American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) was backed by anti-worker extremists seeking to further rig the economy and limit the power labor has when unions are strong.

“The New York State Public Employees Federation (PEF), and other unions in New York state and around the country have been preparing for this decision with vigorous member engagement campaigns, involving thousands of one-on-one conversations with workers at all state agencies and departments about the value of being a union member. What the anti-union groups don’t understand is the power of our union comes from our members and their commitment to fight to better provide for their families and serve their communities, not from money!

“We will not let any court case stand in the way of our fight for good, union jobs that our communities need. We know when unions are strong, we have the power to raise wages, secure basic needs such as health care coverage and a dignified retirement, making life better for our families and our communities. No court case, no billionaire and no propaganda campaign can stop us. We are stronger together!”

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