CBTU-Canada Statement on the U.S Supreme Court decision Janus vs AFSCME

The Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU) Canada Chapter views the recent United States Supreme Court decision to implement Right to Work legislation on public sector Unions as an attack on working families on both sides of the Canada/United States border.

Unions representing government workers in 22 states, including Illinois, have just received this right-winged legislation and are expected to lose the ability to collect dues from non-members to cover the costs of collective bargaining and enforcing the Collective agreements.

Whereas Unions are the sole avenue for workers to collectively bargain improvements to their working conditions, improvements that often flow into non-union workplaces, it is reasonable to infer that if unions no longer have the resources to negotiate improvements to working conditions, the improvements that workers have gained over many years can reasonably be expected to erode.

In a 5-4 decision entitled Janus vs AFSCME the United States Supreme Court has overturned a 1977 Supreme Court opinion that public employee unions could collect union dues as a condition of employment since the unions have a legal obligation to represent all workers in the bargaining unit.

The CBTU Canada Chapter views this legislation as a call to action throughout the Canadian labour movement. Gone are the days when Labour can continue being divided as similar right-winged legislation remains hidden in the corridors of our Federal and Provincial Parliaments waiting to be unleashed.

CBTU-Canada calls on ALL of Canada’s Unions, both the affiliated and non-affiliated, to form a united front against Right to Work legislation as we stand on the side of working families, ensuring that no worker, Unionized or non-unionized, is left behind through our collective response.