The Court ruled in its decision that public employee unions now need consent from its members to take out dues from their paycheck. To unions who have poor communications structures, this is going to be a difficult feat. But for those who communicate regularly - those members will know exactly what their dues pay for. In requiring an opt-in process instead of an opt-out, the Court makes New York's Alcantara bill
moot. Although at the time the Alcantara bill made us feel good, this "gap legislation" was an excuse for weak union leaders to lean more heavily on their lawyers and political coordinators to solve their upcoming problems of poor communications. Union leaders that worked hard, organized, engaged their members and talked with each of them one-on-one; will have a much better chance of keeping the lights on than the unions who continue to keep their members in the dark because of their unwillingness to adjust their work ethics. The American Federation of Teachers and AFSCME rolled out a one-on-one plan to opt their members in. Their locals who participated in that simple plan will survive. The one's who didn't, well...
The bad guys hit the ground running. As we speak, the Freedom Foundation
, which funds Right-to-Work efforts and shares donors with Trump, has been knocking on doors urging public employees to defund their unions. They are succeeding. This week, television ads from the Center for Union Facts
are running on CNN and Fox News during the morning and on prime time.
Here's the kicker - this isn't the end of the American Union Movement, to some of us, groups like UCOMM and organizations we admire and respect - the Janus case is just the beginning. The day of solitaire on the PC at the union hall during work hours is over. Hard work, field visits, and contract enforcement should be and will be, the new norm for the next generation of union leaders. It's already happening. Teachers strikes in Right-to-Work states
like West Virginia, Oklahoma, Arizona, Kentucky, and Colorado were all successful. Even though there were repercussions, kicking around well-fed teachers in free bargaining states may be easy now - but once you thin out their ranks and make them hungry for rights, you may see a birth of new militancy in the public employee.
The 50,000 strong Culinary Workers Union
in Las Vegas is proof positive that labor laws don't matter. Nevada is a Right-to-Work state, but through hard work, organizing and constant communications, they have figured out ways to make unionism work.
Today, we are mad and we think of our 30 plus clients and how hard they have been working to prepare for today. I'm comforted that they will prevail. Today, a new model of unionism was induced out of the womb of our sickly mother we call America; this model mixes organizing with constant communications. Organizing is what has always saved us, and constant communications are what will allow us to grow and survive in this era of Trump.
These are the justices that voted for Janus. Do not forget their names or faces. From left to right, Justice Anthony Kennedy (Reagan's appointee who announced his retirement from the bench 5 hours after the Janus decision was released), Justice Neil Gorsuch (Trump's appointee), Chief Justice John Roberts, Jutice Samuel Alito, and Justice Clarence Thomas (a womanizer and sexual predator).