Our Union Movement Will Get Stronger
Statement by International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers President James Boland on the U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Janus v AFSCME, Council 31
[Washington, D.C.] June 27, 2018 – Today the Supreme Court ruled against working people and in favor of billionaire CEOs and corporate interests in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31, holding that requiring employees to pay fair share fees to the unions that represent their interests in the public sector violates the First Amendment of the Constitution. The ruling was 5-4 along partisan lines, with conservative Justice Samuel Alito writing for the majority.
It is no secret that the union movement has been under assault by right-wing politicians for decades. With the election of Donald Trump to the presidency, and the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, this effort has gained speed. However, despite these frontal assaults, when we draw upon our collective strength we can ensure that we will make it through this trying period and emerge stronger for having endured.
America needs unions. Our unions represent diverse working people in a variety of sectors, amplify the voices of working people on the job, strengthen democracy, reduce inequality and help middle- and low-wage working people obtain their fair share of our economic growth, reduce wage gaps and increase wages for women and people of color. Because of our unions, our workplaces are safer, and working people's voices are louder.
This decision sends our economy further in the wrong direction, but this alone will not stop our union movement. We are going to keep fighting to organize more working families. We are going to demand elected officials do everything in their power to make it easier for more workers to join unions. We are going to work harder to help more workers join our unions, provide them with good union jobs, and stand up for their rights. Our union movement will only get stronger.
The International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers, headquartered in Washington, D.C., is the oldest continuous union in North America and represents roughly 75,000 skilled masonry-trowel trades craftworkers in the United States and Canada, including bricklayers, tile setters, cement masons, plasterers, stone masons, marble masons, restoration workers, PCC and finishers, and terrazzo and mosaic workers.