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UCOMM- IBEW Local 3's march across the Brooklyn Bridge in September of 2017

Janus Rallies 2018: The End of Labor Peace as We Know It

Millions of average Joe and Jill’s will be demonstrating across the country as SCOTUS creates unrest amongst America’s worker bee’s

Kris LaGrange's picture
Feb 23, 2018

Let’s be honest with ourselves, the Mark Janus v. AFSCME U.S. Supreme Court case that is being heard on Monday will be bad news for many, not just for organized labor’s ability to collect fair share fees for services provided, but for the small minority of workers who plan on not paying union dues. What they don’t understand is that work will become a living hell for them if they decide to leach off their co-workers and not pay their dues.

There will be resentment, uneasiness and in some cases pushing and shoving matches. It will get ugly, just ask any union leader in a Right to Work state. What I don’t think SCOTUS understands is that their decision will have real life, day to day consequences. If Trump’s Gorsuch and the rest of SCOTUS decide for the plaintiff, Mark Janus, union workplaces across the nation could become hostile, uneasy timebombs. Mark Janus is a tool of the National Right to Work Foundation and is one of the most disliked employees in the entire Illinois public employee system. This case, which has taken on many names since its inception, is not about an individual workers freedom of speech. It’s about taking away a workforce’s right to bargain collectively.

Unions and collective bargaining rights are as American as apple pie, Chevrolet, and the Green Bay Packers. Organized labor’s influence crosses over into different workplaces, ethnicities, religions and political parties. Even workforces not in unions benefit from the many accomplishments that labor has successfully fought and lobbies for. This may be one of the major reasons why millions will be demonstrating this weekend.

Janus v. AFSCME does not just affect public employee unions, it affects all who work for a living. UCOMM’s entire client base will be out in force. Private sector utility workforces from IBEW Local 1049 are taking a busload of members into Manhattan, as are IBEW Local 97 leaders driving down from Syracuse, NY. Local 97 will have membership out in Buffalo along with gas techs from IBEW Local 2154. Telecom pro’s from CWA Local 13101 in Delaware are making the trip up to Philly and IBEW Local 29 lineman will have a presence in Pittsburgh. Utility workers from IBEW Local 94 and UWUA Local 601 will have bodies at Rutgers and teachers from Long Island will be gathering at Foley Square in NYC along with leaders from the Long Island Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO. Telecom techs from CWA Local 1109 in Brooklyn and CWA Local 1108 from Long Island are meeting other Communications Workers of America Locals, donned in red, at their meeting point at Reede and Layfayette. The list goes on and on.

For the first time in UCOMM’s history, all of our clients, all 30 plus of them, are doing something. All in all, over 30 cities across the country are experiencing the same dramatic effect. The beauty of it is that of all the Locals mentioned above, very few of them are public sector unions, yet, they are mobilizing in support of workforces they do not represent. We have mentioned multiple times that Janus will make our American Union Movement stronger. Janus will force union leaders to work harder, better, faster and stronger. Janus will quickly purify our ranks, forcing Dinosaurs to finally retire. The AFSCME model of agency-style servicing will be destroyed and a younger, more angry and militant style of organizing will take place. To survive, labor will change the way it conducts itself. If you’re a public employee union leader reading this, and you will not be out this weekend, well, your days are numbered. This is not a threat, it’s a guarantee.

SCOTUS will find for Mark Janus, and Right to Work will become the law of the land. Trump told us this during his campaign, and 40% of union members unwillingly ate it up and bought the long con. Tomorrow is a big day for the American Union Movement, and we are excited to be part of it. We just hope Trump’s Gorsuch and SCOTUS realize that when you piss on our worker bee’s nest, we will come out and sting, and our stings hurt; at polling places and in our workplaces.

Good luck and God Speed.


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