SCOTUS Decision: The Future is in Our Hands

SCOTUS Decision: The Future is in Our Hands

Dear UC and CSU Teamster,

In previous letters we let you know of the Janus v. AFSCME case brought by corporate lawyers who aim to weaken Unions and lower pay and benefits of public service workers like us.  Today, the five anti-worker judges on the US Supreme Court overturned precedent that had stood for half a century, and used the Janus case to take away fair share rights for public workers and our Unions.

As public workers, this decision threatens our very future, and our hard-won rights, pay and benefits.  But we won’t let them take away the progress we’ve made as Union members.  We are standing together as Teamster members to protect our jobs, win fair pay and benefits, and defend our rights at work.

The Union is nothing more than all of us standing together to win fair wages and a better workplace. Our work makes the University of California and California State University work every day – they can’t run these great Universities without us.  We harness that power to win fair wages and benefits when we stand together in our Union.

But a powerful Union, like any effective organization, needs resources to function. As an organization of working people, our Union doesn’t receive funding from outside sources like corporations or billionaires. So part of standing together is that we all put in our fair share to make the Union run.  Since the Union represents everyone in the bargaining unit, and since everyone benefits from the raises and rights we win together, that’s how we protect and expand our rights at work.

That’s why these anti-Union lawyers and think-tanks have come after fair share rights.  Their purpose is to weaken and divide us so that they can lower working people’s pay, and the rich can get richer.It’s about greed, pure and simple.

We’ve already seen it happen in one state after another, like in Wisconsin, where Gov. Scott Walker took away Union rights for public workers.  Union membership dropped, and within five years, pay and benefits of public workers is down 8-10% in Wisconsin.  They followed a similar script in Iowa, and Florida, and Michigan, attacking workers’ rights and lowering wages and benefits.

Will the same thing happen here in California?  Will they take away our hard-won rights and lower our pay and benefits?  That is up to us.  We can maintain our power and protect our pay and benefits, if we all choose to stand together in our Union. Even though these powerful forces seek to weaken us, there is no power on earth that can stop working people from standing together in our Union if we choose to do so.

Over the past few years, Teamsters Local 2010 members have come together like never before, and as a result we have won tremendous gains. We’ve taken our membership from 29% five years ago to nearly 85% today.  We’ve organized 2,300 new members in the skilled trades, magnifying our strength exponentially.  Over 11,000 members have signed the Member Power form, committing to stand together as Teamsters.  Standing together as Teamsters, we won strong contracts with significant guaranteed raises in the face of tough employer opposition.

We have also seen that when we do not stand together, we are weak, and the employers will take away our hard-won raises and rights. Many of us remember the days before we were Teamsters, when we were weak and divided, and we went long years without raises.

Will we go back to the bad old days of weakness and division, or will we stand together as Teamsters and defend our power? The choice is ours, and our future is in our hands.

Let’s continue to stand together as Teamsters. Let’s make sure everyone in our workplace has completed the Teamster Member Power form and stays a member of the Teamsters.  Let’s get involved in our Union, attend a chapter meeting, or upcoming trainings.

When we stand together as Teamsters, we win together!

In Unity,

Jason Rabinowitz
Teamsters Local 2010

Catherine Cobb
Teamsters Local 2010