Message from Business Manager Mike Prohaska to Local 79 Members:
I want to alert all members to an important case that is going to be heard before the Supreme Court early next year that, depending on the result, could be devastating to public employees, many of whom are LiUNA members. The case, Friedrichs v. the California Teachers Association, will determine whether all public employment in this country becomes right-to-work.
What exactly does right to work mean? It means that an employee can have the benefit of a labor union negotiating for him or her without the employee having to pay union dues. Essentially, right to work creates freeloaders, employees who have all the benefits brought to them by a collective bargaining agreement without having to chip in their fair share to pay the costs of negotiating and enforcing those agreements. And, as you probably know, it is a short road from right-to-work to the disappearance of unions altogether. Witness the Southern part of this country, where right-to-work reigns and there are few unions to fight for workers’ rights.
And guess who is funding the wrong side in this battle? The billionaire Koch brothers, who have consistently taken an anti-union stance on their way to greedily amassing their fortune. So, we must use our organized strength to bring this case out in the open and to let the Supreme Court know that a decision in favor of the rich and wealthy at the expense of union workers will not stand.
LiUNA General President Terry O’Sullivan has called for LiUNA members to make their voices heard on this issue. So, I am asking all Local 79 members to go to the links below for examples of letters to send to editors of your local newspapers and talking points that will allow you to talk to neighbors, friends, co-workers about this issue. We need to all pull together to demand that the Supreme Court rule in favor of unionized workers in this country.