While the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the importance of collective bargaining and unions to families and communities in its June 30 ruling in Harris v. Quinn, let's be clear that working people, who have aspired to the middle class and tried to make a better life for their families, have taken it on the chin for years, AFT President Randi Weingarten says.
"Stagnating wages, loss of pensions and lack of upward mobility have defined the economic distress they have experienced. This decision makes it worse.
"The Roberts court has consistently ruled in favor of corporate interests, while diminishing the rights of labor. This court has built a record of weakening the rights of both voters and working families; no one should be surprised by this decision.
"America's workers have gone through the crucible of tough times and adversity—that's why they formed America's labor movement. Workers did not start off with their rights being protected by government. We had to—and still must—organize ourselves, our families and others to secure good jobs, great public schools, prosperous communities and opportunity for all. While disappointed in the court's decision, the American Federation of Teachers will do what we have always done: redouble our efforts to empower and engage our members around the issues they care about and the work they do, and to serve as a strong voice for our communities, our democracy and opportunity for all."
Important to remember that working people didn't start off getting rights from govt. We fought long and hard for them. #HarrisvQuinn
— Randi Weingarten (@rweingarten) June 30, 2014
[AFT press release]