Janus Case Targets Public Unions – and All Workers

This Monday (February 26), the U.S. Supreme Court will hear the arguments in Janus v. AFSCME, a case that would make it much more difficult for public-sector workers to bargain for better wages and working conditions.

Billionaires Behind the Case. In Roman mythology, Janus was two-faced, and so is this case. While hiding behind individual workers, the legal action is bankrolled by the same far-right billionaires who are attacking Social Security, Medicare, bargaining rights, and other benefits for all working Americans.

African-American Women at Greatest Risk. An unfavorable ruling by the Court would disproportionately hit African-American women since they account for 17.7% of public-sector workers. Black women are paid only 65 cents of the dollar that their white male counterparts receive. Unions narrow that wage gap by seven cents on the dollar.

Will the Middle Class Grow or Shrink? The real issue is whether working Americans can still earn middle-class livelihoods. Just think how many working families may have dads in private industry and moms in the public schools. Wisconsin has weakened public and private-sector unions, while neighboring Minnesota is taking the high-wage road. The result: Wisconsin leads the nation in middle-class decline, while Minnesota is in the top five states for the middle class.

Why Muzzle Middle-Class Workers? Weakening unions will make the political system even more rigged in favor of the wealthy and well connected. Working Americans thrive with public employees—like Minnesota teachers advocating for smaller class sizes—are able to speak up for improved public services.