New Supreme Court case threatens workers’ rights-here’s what you need to know

February 26, 2018

Oral arguments began today in Janus v. AFSCME, a U.S. Supreme Court case that threatens the ability of unions like ours to build our membership and protect our rights—and programs like IHSS. To weather whatever storms Janus may bring, we will need to stand together and be more united than ever before.

Janus Quick Facts

  • Janus is funded and supported by anti-worker groups like the Freedom Foundation and billionaires like the Koch Brothers
  • If they win, Janus would drain resources from unions like ours by banning fair share fees and making it harder to fight for better wages and fight back against attacks on our rights
  • The groups behind Janus say they care about our rights, but their real goal is to weaken our collective power and eliminate unions altogether
  • This is an attack on working families, low-wage workers, and the middle class

Because home care unions like ours already faced this threat in 2014 with Harris v. Quinn, Janus won’t change anything in the way UDW operates. However, many of the unions we work with on important issues like raising the minimum wage and protecting health care could be deeply impacted. And, if anti-union groups win on Janus, they will likely step up their attacks on home care—putting funding for IHSS, Medicare and Medicaid, and the rights that we have fought for in danger.

There is hope, though, and it comes from caregivers like us. When Harris made it harder for us to organize in 2014, UDW members fought back by working even harder, growing our membership and focusing on what’s most important to us: protecting IHSS. Our success after Harris shows us—and other unions—how to succeed after Janus by building member power and standing up for the rights of all working people to better their own lives.

UDW caregiver Carmen Ballina of San Diego is ready to stand up for her rights and her union. She cares for her children, who are 11 and 14 and live with autism and epilepsy. She has been a UDW member for ten years and UDW has fought for her many times, helping with IHSS and Social Security issues, both for her children and her roommate.

“I consider my union my family,” Carmen said. “They are my strength when I can’t be strong anymore.”

Threats like Janus mean that it’s important, now more than ever, for caregivers to stand strong and stick with our union—and each other. To find out how you can get involved in this fight, contact your local office. To help protect our union, your voice, and the IHSS program, become a member today.

A ruling on the Janus case is expected in early summer.

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