The far right government that we have in the Trump Administration is attacking the living conditions of Americans in numerous ways. Not satisfied with the virtual elimination of class action lawsuits directed at employers to address matters facing working class people, those in power want to undermine collective bargaining and further weaken unions. Observers of labor issues have been warning all about the implications of Janus vs. AFSCME, which will be decided by the Supreme Court. The case has to do with the right of the union to charge those who haven’t officially joined a fee (sometimes known as agency shop) to help the union conduct business.
The forthcoming Janus Decision is looking to go against the needs of working people, much like other decisions handed down by this Supreme Court. In this environment, though it looks bleak, this wholesale attack could turn out to have unintended consequences. To get a perspective on this issue, Polite on Society reached out to Tanya Wallace-Gobern, the Executive Director of the National Black Worker’s Center Project.
In speaking about the possible outcomes of the Janus decision, she takes a long view on the issue. “People don’t organize and mobilize in a comfortable position”, said Wallace-Gobern. Historically speaking, it is in moments of discomfort where unions are built.
“The one percent are putting their foot on the necks of the people”, said Wallace-Gobern speaking on the general climate of reaction and fiscal austerity. In our conversation, she also emphasized that the true power is in collective action. Also pointing out that most unions proactive and are planning for the worse, this conversation serves to remind us that the purpose of unions is for workers to come together to improve their working lives.
To read more perspectives from Tanya Wallace-Gobern, you can visit the link below: