Swift reaction among local leaders to High Court’s union ruling

Wednesday’s Supreme Court ruling was a devastating blow to public sector unions across the country who are bracing to lose tens of millions of dollars.

Those unions and their Democratic allies expressed disappointment.

Roberta Lynch is executive director of AFSCME Council 31.

“From the very beginning the Janus case was about one thing and one thing only,” he said. “Wealthy special interests like Bruce Rauner and his crew tipping the scales even further in favor of big corporations and the wealthy elite who already hold so much power in our country.”

The Chicago Teacher Union showed solidarity with AFSCME.

“There’s obviously a concerted effort to attack the public sector, attack pa and the unions right now are trying to defend that space,” Jesse Sharkey said.

The Supreme Court ruled that forcing government workers to contribute to labor unions that represent them in collective bargaining and other matters violates the First Amendment.

The Democrat challenging Governor Rauner this fall, J.B. Pritzker, weighed in, called the decision “appalling.”

For anti-union conservatives the ruling is a huge win. Organized labor, a key Democratic constituency, will now lose fair share fees.

Ruaner called it “a victory for taxpayers.”

The Illinois Policy Institute partnered with the Liberty Justice Center on the case.

Spokesperson Eric Kohn said, “The court recognized today that unions are inherently political. We have research now available at Illinoispolicy.org that shows that for years they have funneled millions and millions of dollars into politics and it was a violation of workers First Amendment rights to be compelled to support that organization against their will if they didn’t want to.”

Public sector unions must now regroup but they say they will keep fighting.

“We don’t agree with the court’s contention that negotiating for a fair wage for people is political,” Lynch said. “The labor movement is bigger than any one Supreme Court ruling.”

AFCSME is defiant and said it will educate members about the importance of remaining in the union and it will continue to its political battle against Rauner.