What the latest in the SCOTUS case means for Oregon’s workers

The fight isn't over yet: now is the time to stand together and defend Oregon's working families.

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The impact of the recent death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is far-reaching. Everywhere you look, pundits are calling this a game changer.

Many are saying a Supreme Court without Justice Scalia saves unions because it likely means, for the short term, that the Court will not decide against organized labor in the controversial Friedrichs vs. California Teachers Association case.

It is true that the Court isn’t likely to roll back four decades of labor rights this June — but one tweak in the timeline on one Court case doesn’t change the reality for working families in this country. No matter where you turn, there’s another attack on unions and workers that threatens to further exacerbate the gap between the richest and the poorest.

Koch Brother-funded attacks on workers aren’t going to stop because one Court case slips through their fingers. It’s more important than ever that we continue to organize and defend working families.

Attacks on workers are still coming from all sides:

  • Across the country as well as here in Oregon, workers are facing Federal Court cases, in addition to the Friedrichs case, that attempt to roll back protections for working people.
  • There are still two initiatives headed to the 2016 ballot, funded by out-of-state millionaires and the timber industry, that directly attack workplace safety, pay and benefits.
  • Across the Northwest, a Koch brothers-funded, Washington state-based organization called the Freedom Foundation has built a staff of dozens with one goal in mind: dismantle labor unions so workers no longer have a strong voice to advocate for higher minimum wages, paid sick days and the like.

And across the country, organizations dedicated solely to dismantling unions are buying ads, hiring Astro-turf canvassers, writing local ballot measures, and on and on and on — all with the hope that unions will lose their voices, and will no longer be strong enough to make a difference for every worker in every state in the country.

So while yes, it feels downright great to not have the threat of Friedrichs looming over our heads, the truth is these attacks are never going to stop. As long as billionaires like the Koch Brothers have money to spend, they’ll continue to spend it, trying to lower standards for all working people. That means unions and community leaders can’t stop either. We need to keep pushing back, and keep organizing and winning for workers.

If workers, unions and community groups didn’t come together, we wouldn’t win major victories like increasing the minimum wage. We need to stick together and prepare for the serious fights ahead.

Join us and take the pledge to stand with Oregon’s workers and oppose any attack on working families. While you’re at it, encourage your friends and family to take the pledge, too.