The New Jersey State AFL-CIO joins the entire labor movement in celebrating a big win for working families, with a divided U.S. Supreme Court leaving intact a pro-union ruling that threatened our collective future.
The case known as Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association was a bold attempt by right-wing extremists to weaken all unions by reversing a decision allowing those in the public sector to collect fees from non-union members whose compensation is set through labor negotiations. The wealthy conservatives throwing money at this case used the highest court in the nation to try to undercut working families, collective bargaining and the rights of workers on the job. But they failed!Read more
Realizing that the Friedrichs case is no more than a special interest attack on all workers’ rights, Building Trades leaders called for solidarity in the face of the latest threat to our livelihoods.
NJ State AFL-CIO Calls for Solidarity as U.S. Supreme Court Case is Heard
Strong unions empower working people to fight for justice, fairness, dignity and respect. The Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association case, which the U.S. Supreme Court is hearing on Monday, January 11, 2016, threatens to silence our voice as working people.Read more
The New Jersey State AFL-CIO is proud to announce that over 100 labor elected officials in New Jersey have signed onto a letter, which you can read HERE, underscoring the threat of the U.S. Supreme Court case, Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association. This level of solidarity is unparalleled, and is only made possible thanks to the New Jersey State AFL-CIO Labor Candidates program, which has achieved 864 election victories since 1997, making it the only one of its kind in the nation.Read more
By Laurel Brennan
The American woman’s struggle for equal pay is not new. As far back as the Civil War, working women have been fighting to be paid on the same scale as men. As Labor Secretary Lewis Schwellenbach pointed out when he tried unsuccessfully to get an equal pay amendment passed in 1947, “There is no sex difference in the food she buys or the rent she pays, there should be none in her pay envelope.”
As one of the few groups advocating for the interests of working people, labor unions have led the way for gains. In 1961, labor activist Esther Peterson convinced President Kennedy to address gender pay inequality. Over the next two years, she gathered data, built coalitions and overcame fierce opposition in a successful campaign to enact a national Equal Pay Act. The following year, the labor-backed Civil Rights Act of 1964 further strengthened laws for gender equality. And, in 2009, unions pressed Congress to pass the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which extended the time frame for women to file equal-pay lawsuits when business owners intentionally shortchanged them.Read more
The Friedrichs U.S. Supreme Court case is an attack on the fundamental right of workers to form unions and exercise their collective voice on the job. To understand why this case has been brought forth and its implications on all workers, please take a moment to watch this video featuring our union sister Jennifer Higgins from AFT Local 1904 at Montclair University.
As the video reveals, this case is being funded by the same forces that have been attacking American working people for decades. The Center for Individual Rights (CIR), which brought this case forth, is a front group designed to advance conservative legal action. CIR is funded by wealthy interests like the Koch Brothers, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, and the F.M. Kirby Foundation based in New Jersey.Read more
Stay Union, Stay Strong: NJ AFL-CIO Calls for Solidarity in Face of Friedrich’s U.S. Supreme Court Case
Strong unions empower working people to fight for justice, fairness, dignity and respect. No matter the challenges that we face, your solidarity will ensure a strong and enduring labor movement for generations to come.
In the New Jersey State AFL-CIO’s new video, Stay Union, Stay Strong, union members Alicia Abrams, OPEIU 153; Pat Paradiso, AFT 857 President; and Dave Protomastro, UA 24 start the conversation about the importance of unions in the face of the Friedrich’s v. Califorina Teachers Association case, which the U.S. Supreme Court will hear this winter. Please watch the video, and be sure to share it with your union brothers and sisters.Read more
A decision before next summer in a U.S. Supreme Court case you’ve probably never heard of has the power to significantly reduce employee earnings and compensation well into the future. The wealthy special-interest organizations financing the case have spent great sums to ensure that all workers earn lower pay, receive few if any retirement benefits and see their full-time jobs replaced with part-time work.
Right-wing billionaires like the Koch Brothers have partnered with Tea Party extremists and are reshaping the economy in their favor by making it even harder for working people like teachers, electricians, office workers and firefighters to get and stay ahead economically. This right-wing influence is making it harder every year for workers to join a union and negotiate wages and benefits that enable them to earn a decent living and build a better life.Read more
The United States Supreme Court recently reconvened to begin work on a host of controversial cases, including one that will have significant impact on the future of organized labor: Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association. Although the suit was brought by teachers, the case applies to all public employees.
At a time when corporations and the wealthy are rewriting the rules of the economy in their favor, this case has the potential to knock American families and our entire economy off balance. This case, plain and simple, threatens the fundamental promise of America – that if you work hard and play by the rules, you should be able to provide a decent life for your family.Read more