NYTWA Statement on Janus v. AFSCME

The Supreme Court is no friend to the working class. A day after its shameful ruling on the Muslim & Refugee ban, the court guts workers rights in its ruling on Janus v AFSCME.

Our statement on Wednesday, June 27th:

The Supreme Court has once again shown that it is on the side of the rich and powerful rather than the workers on whose sweat this country runs. The working class and the poor build collective power through unions, all the more necessary to balance the scales at a time of unprecedented income inequality. Public sector unions have increasingly functioned as a line of defense for a labor movement under constant attack in the private sector, where many workers have been stripped of collective bargaining rights and blocked from the courts through forced arbitration.

We know all too well the consequences of these attacks on workers. Yellow taxi drivers lost recognized collective bargaining rights 30 years ago when the dispatch and commission system was replaced by street hails and vehicle leasing. And though today's for-hire drivers are under commission and dispatched just as yellow taxi drivers once were, the drivers are misclassified as independent contractors and denied collective bargaining rights. Stripped of these basic rights, drivers across all sectors are now in a daily struggle for survival as Wall Street billionaires lead us on a race to the bottom with no laws to stop them.

This ruling is unconscionable but may it ring as a wake up call: collective bargaining gives workers rights to democratic representation and puts legal pressure on the bosses to negotiate fairly. But it's worker organizing that builds unions and our uncompromising militancy that builds power.

Corporations cheering from the sidelines while the highest court in the land guts unions may have forgotten that our nation's labor laws were created largely to quell worker unrest. If workers cannot turn to the law to protect us, we have no choice but to take to the streets.

Find a PDF of the statement here.