June 28, 2018
The Ontario Federation of Labour is disappointed in the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Janus v. AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees). As part of the global labour movement, the OFL knows that international solidarity is key to the work we do as a movement.
In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that labour unions would no longer be able to collect “agency fees” (union dues) from workers who are not members of the union, but benefit from the gains won under collective agreements bargained by a union.
“This decision weakens the ability of unions to organize and bargain. Combined with the U.S. ‘right-to-work’ legislation that allows workers to opt out of joining a union, the voice of workers in the U.S. will be weakened by this decision,” said OFL President Chris Buckley. “Unions worldwide must now stand in solidarity with unions in the United States to build strong connections, create new ways of organizing, and fight hard to protect the rights of workers –where employers and government are whittling away at hard-won rights.”
“This decision will have a deeply negative effect on women and other equity-seeking workers in the workforce,” said OFL Secretary-Treasurer Patty Coates. “We know that in unionized workplaces, these workers are paid significantly more on average. We must work to fight for better collective rights for all workers.”
“We must continue our international solidarity work to ensure that the collective fight for better working conditions and decent work does not end,” said Executive Vice-President Ahmad Gaied. “We will continue to protect the rights of workers at home and worldwide.”
In direct contrast to yesterday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision, the Supreme Court of Canada has unanimously upheld the constitutionality of bargaining unit employers paying dues to unions and of unions using those dues to represent and advocate for the workers they represent.
- Janus v. AFSCME
- Ontario Federation of Labour
- Pay Equity
- U.S. Supreme Court
- Workers Rights