Unity key to overcoming attacks
On February 26, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Janus v. AFSCME, a lawsuit that seeks to prevent public-sector workers from joining together in unions. On the days just before the arguments were heard, working people across the nation united in actions to put the rich and powerful behind this case on notice: American workers will not be divided by any court case or attack on our basic freedoms. (For more information, see related articles pages 4, 6, and 7).
Many of you participated in rallies in New York City, Buffalo and Albany with other working people in an exciting show of unity. Take a look at some of the photos from around the state that we have included on the cover and in this edition of The Communicator and you will see union members and their families reaffirming their commitment and recognizing the importance of union membership.
I thank all of you who signed PEF recommitment cards while at the rallies or at the member engagement meetings we’ve been holding in every PEF region. If you haven’t already, please take a moment to sign a PEF recommitment card online to show everyone you are sticking with your union. Please send your signed card to:
Associate Director of Organizing
PO Box 12414
Albany, NY 12212-2414
I think it’s important to note the Janus case isn’t just about attacking union members’ rights. It’s about an attack on all working peoples’ rights — basic rights such as clean water, affordable health care, electricity, sanitation and quality education — vital services that are threatened when union jobs are privatized by corporations that put profits before people.
In some parts of the world, privatization of everything from water to health care, to education prices millions of the global poor out of access to basic needs.
We know when government shirks its responsibility to provide public services, we all pay. And we also know that when powerful corporate and financial interests pressure governments to privatize public services, their only purpose is to put profits before people. Their goal is to further rig the system against us all.
It is, in fact, union members who ensure everyone has equal access to quality public services.
Strong unions support our communities and provide the foundation upon which democratic societies and successful economies are built.
History shows that we are stronger together. With big corporations and billionaires rigging the rules to make it difficult for workers to use our power in numbers, now more than ever, we must pledge to stick together. No court case, no legislation, no propaganda campaign can stop us.