6.27.18 – (LAA/LUS) – Press Release – Supreme Court Rules 5-4 Against State & Public Sector Unions in Janus Case

APFA Special Hotline


Wednesday, June 27, 2018



Media Contact: Peter Goelz

(202) 929-3360 | pGoelz@oneillandassoc.com

The Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) Says JANUS  Ruling is a Devastating Blow to Organized Labor  It’s More Important than Ever to Push Back Against the Anti-Union Movement 


Washington D.C. – Today, as expected, the Supreme Court delivered its 5-4 ruling in the Janus V. AFSCME case. Trump appointee Justice Neil Gorsuch cast the deciding vote. This case has made national headlines challenging the practice of public sector unions charging agency fees to employees who decline to join the union, but who still benefit from the deals it collectively bargains.

Twenty-eight states have “right to work” laws banning agency fees across the board. These laws can create a problem for unions because it creates “free-riders”, who are people who do not pay union or agency fees but get the benefits that the Unions have secured.

The plaintiff in Janus argued that agency fees for government employees were a first amendment violation. He claimed that because unions are essentially political actors that, by charging fees to all, are effectively compelling employees to financially support a political organization that they may not agree with. The Supreme Court agreed.

Public sector Unions, by contrast, viewed the practice of collecting “agency fees” as necessary and valid as their costs of representation was benefiting all members—saying that all who benefited should share the costs.

It should be noted that the Janus Ruling does not affect APFA. We are a private sector Union, and our membership and collective bargaining rules remain fully in place. However, the potential threat to private sector Unions is whether the anti-Union movement will now try to employ similar legal arguments to get “agency fees” banned in the private sector as well.

“I am disappointed but not surprised by today’s ruling,” said APFA National President Nena Martin. “And while this ruling does not affect our Union directly, it is still a deplorable outcome for working women and men everywhere. The facts are clear—where unions thrive, workers’ pay and benefits are superior. APFA will continue to work with other Unions to fight for the fair treatment of all workers by supporting pro-working, pro-Union candidates at all levels of Government.”

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