For Immediate Release | June 27, 2018 | Contact Cherie Parker: 619-806-4677
The United Domestic Workers of America (UDW/AFSCME 3930), a union representing 100,000 workers who provide home care to low income seniors and people with disabilities through California’s In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program, issued a strong denouncement today of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Janus v AFSCME.
“With its decision in Janus vs. AFSCME, the Supreme Court has created a serious challenge to working people and shown itself to be now firmly in the hands of wealthy corporations,” said UDW Executive Director Doug Moore. “By ruling against the ability of public sector unions to build and support their memberships, the Court has essentially told American workers they are on their own against a rigged system.”
Today’s decision overturns 1977’s Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, which affirmed the right of public sector unions to collect “fair share” or “agency” fees from the workers they represent—a right made obvious by the demonstrably higher wages and benefits enjoyed by all workers in a unionized workplace.
UDW caregivers strive to make a difference, not only by bargaining for better wages, benefits and working conditions for themselves, but by engaging on the larger issues of social and economic justice that intersect with workers’ rights. UDW members recognize that they will build better futures for themselves and those they care for by building stronger communities and eradicating inequalities for everyone. As leaders in the field of long-term care, disability rights, income equality, immigration reform, and racial, gender and LGBTQI justice, UDW caregivers are alarmed that the Court would come down so heavily on the side of inequality and injustice.
Though UDW is an AFSCME local, its operations are not directly impacted by the Janus ruling. A 2014 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Harris v. Quinn, paved the way for Janus by ruling against agency fees for home care workers. Since then, UDW has expanded the definition and value of union membership with greater advocacy, financial tools to help members in their daily lives, and increased opportunities to become leaders in their communities. UDW has not only maintained their membership in the face of Harris v. Quinn, but today has more members than ever before.
And though UDW is an example of how to succeed in a “right-to-work” environment, Moore said, the reason for UDW members’ opposition to the Janus decision is clear.
“Because our members are low-income workers who depend on the ability to join together in a union, we recognize any attempt to eliminate unions as an attempt to eliminate our power to protect ourselves and the clients we care for—and we will not take it laying down,” Moore said.”
United Domestic Workers of America (UDW/AFSCME Local 3930) is a home care union made up of over 108,000 in-home caregivers in 21 counties across the state of California. UDW caregivers provide critical services through the state’s In-Home Supportive Services program (IHSS), which allows over half a million California seniors and people with disabilities to remain in their homes with dignity and independence.