A Message from Business Manager Chris Erikson
The U.S. Supreme Court this week will decide whether or not to hear a case regarding public employees in Alaska. The top court in Alaska ruled that public employees should not have to certify every year whether they want to continue to be represented by their unions. Rightfully so. This case is worse than the Janus ruling that allows public employees to opt out of paying dues to the union and still be represented — a horrible decision that was a result of the conservative Supreme Court. If a union can’t collect dues to represent its members, there won’t be a union, period. It would be an undue burden if every member had to certify every year that they want to be members. This is union-busting 101. Conservatives in Alaska and other states have the hope in this particular case that the Supreme Court will reinterpret its 2018 Janus case and effectively put new restrictions on public employee unions.
This is an example of why every election is important. Electing Trump allowed him to appoint ultra-conservative Justices to the Supreme Court. Now we have to live with their decisions, like the repeal of Roe v. Wade, which eliminated a women’s right to make personal decisions regarding reproductive rights. Gone. Can they overturn your right to organize and even have a union? I believe they can find a way, with conservative organizations like the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation and the Goldwater Institute, both of whom have submitted documents in support of Alaska’s case in this instance.
We must be vigilant, especially with the possibility of another term for Trump and anyone else who is influenced by corporate America. The Labor Movement has been in a fight for its existence for more than 40 years since Reagan fired the air traffic controllers in the early 1980’s, sending a message that it was ok to fire employees for daring to go on strike. Membership in private sector unions has declined ever since. If it weren’t for the public sector unions, the number of Americans in unions would be even lower. Our brothers and sisters in Alaska are under attack, and our adversaries would like nothing less than to eliminate all unions. We can’t let that happen if we want to uphold our standards. You need to understand what we are up against, and we must elect people who support unions and the middle-class lives that we have because we are in a union. Eternal vigilance, brothers and sisters, is the only answer. WTFU.