MEDIA ADVISORY FOR: Wednesday, June 27, 2018
Contact: Coral Itzcalli, SEIU Local 721, (213) 321-7332
Mike Long, SEIU Local 721, (213) 304-9777
SEIU 721 Denounces Anti-Worker SCOTUS Decision, Vows to Stay Union Strong in Response to Billionaire-Driven Efforts to Rig the System Against America’s Working Families and Destroy the Middle Class
‘D.C. Doesn’t Decide for Us – and We’re Sticking with the Union’ Says SEIU 721 Pres. Bob Schoonover, adding that ‘What Happened in Wisconsin Is Not Going to Happen Here’ Since ‘Union Power Has Protected Generations of Californians from Unleashed Corporate Greed’
LOS ANGELES—In reaction to today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision on the Janus v. AFSCME case, SEIU 721 President Bob Schoonover vowed that working men and women in labor unions across the nation – including the more than 95,000 members he represents – will stay union strong and remain undeterred by this latest billionaire-driven effort to rig the system against America’s working families and destroy the nation’s middle class.
“D.C. doesn’t decide for us – and we’re sticking with the union,” Schoonover said. “In every so-called Right to Work state in America, living standards are worse for workers and we simply are not going to let that become a reality for us. We choose union – and we always will – because we know that our union is the last line of defense against the rampant corporate greed that has already decimated the American middle class. We will fight for our fair share of the American Dream and we will stay union strong.”
The Janus case is the culmination of a decades-long scheme by anti-worker groups like the Right to Work Foundation, the Freedom Foundation and the Liberty Justice Center to make it harder for unions to fight for good jobs and a voice at work by enacting so-called Right to Work laws nationwide. Without union protections, the fair wages, strong benefits and workplace protections provided by a union contract are eliminated – costing workers and their families everything.
In “Right to Work” states across America, living standards are consistently worse, with workers making $1,500 less on average than their counterparts in states where workers are free to collectively bargain. They also are less likely to have health insurance, a retirement savings or to see their children off to college – but they are more likely to be injured on the job.
“Here in California, the word is out that Right-to-Work is a big trick designed to fool hard-working families into giving up union protections,” Schoonover continued. “So if the billionaires like the Koch Brothers and the Bradley Foundation think the Janus decision is cause for celebration, they should think again. What happened in Wisconsin is not going to happen here. SEIU 721 members are well aware that when our contracts expire, we start from nothing – so we will fight for our union and we won’t be fooled by Right-to-Work lies.”
Schoonover noted that, throughout our nation’s history, union victories also have benefitted non-union workers in pivotal ways – including child labor legislation, vacation and sick time, the 40-hour work week and legislation preventing discrimination by race, gender, sexual orientation, disability or veteran’s status. Most recently, unions successfully fought for a $15 minimum wage in California, a watershed moment benefitting all workers across the state – and a milestone which many believe will eventually become the standard across America.
“Union power has protected generations of Americans from unleashed corporate greed,” Schoonover said. “I know that working families and community supporters will continue to choose union, to defend the American middle class and to stand strong in solidarity against a toxic mindset which rapaciously prioritizes profits over working people’s quality of life. We will stay union strong.”