"There is no sugarcoating today's opinion."
June 27, 2018 9:35 AM   Subscribe

In a 5-4 decision, the United States Supreme Court has overturned a 40-year-old precedent, ruling that public-sector unions cannot require union dues from non-members who do not wish to pay them. The decision was split along party lines, with the Court's five conservative members finding that this requirement was a violation of the right to free speech as guaranteed by the First Amendment.

Writing for the conservative majority, Samuel Alito argued that "[c]ompelling individuals to mouth support for views they find objectionable violates that cardinal constitutional command, and in most contexts, any such effort would be universally condemned."

Elena Kagan, reading her dissent from the bench, suggested that the First Amendment has been weaponized by this decision, writing that "...the majority has chosen the winners by turning the First Amendment into a sword, and using it against workaday economic and regulatory policy."

More on the ruling from SCOTUSblog's Amy Howe and Vox's Dylan Matthews.
posted by tonycpsu (98 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
 
I feel so sick.
posted by biggreenplant at 9:36 AM on June 27 [13 favorites]


.
posted by lalochezia at 9:39 AM on June 27 [2 favorites]


Citizens United is cited no less than eight times in this decision. It's going to keep paying dividends for decades, isn't it?
posted by zrail at 9:40 AM on June 27 [32 favorites]




The decision applies to non-members, not members. Not that it is any less horrific, but it is an important distinction.
posted by grumpybear69 at 9:46 AM on June 27 [3 favorites]


This is why some of us were screaming about keeping the GOP out of the White House in 2016 no matter what. You don’t fuck around when lifetime appointments to the highest bench are involved. Not everybody listened.

So here we are.

.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 9:47 AM on June 27 [80 favorites]


i used to work for the state gov and people got so mad about the union dues.

i was like you do realize it's why you have pay grades and holidays and a union rep and a PAID half hour lunch?

yes of course they did, but why did the union need to be political and support a candidate they didn't agree with the dues.

idk prob bc that candidate isn't trying to screw you over??!?
posted by sio42 at 9:47 AM on June 27 [55 favorites]


The decision applies to non-members, not members. Not that it is any less horrific, but it is an important distinction.

Yes, non-members who continue to freeload off the work and sacrifices and dues of members. This is serious.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 9:48 AM on June 27 [66 favorites]


They're effectively saying that people don't have to pay tax if they don't want to.
posted by Flashman at 9:49 AM on June 27 [13 favorites]




this is not very good, but following on from comments about the free rider problem - it's not as bad as you think it is

the number one way of solving problems that most union members have is the grievance procedure - and being in a right to work state, the local union leadership have made it clear that they're just going to go through the motions for non-union members - they're going to defend the non-union member as little as possible, they're going to drag their feet as much as possible (and keep in mind that many of the grievance meetings and informal talks don't have the grieving member present), and at long last, to take the matter to arbitration requires a vote at a meeting

now, i'm sure that someone's going to argue that the supreme court has ruled that's not legal and the union's not supposed to do that - but unless it's a dire situation, and maybe even if it is, do you think the average working person has thousands of dollars to hire a lawyer and years to wait for it to go through the court system?

in the real world the local leadership is going to screw who they want to screw in the most passive-aggressive way they can manage - i've seen them do it to union members - what kind of chance do you think a non-member's going to have?
posted by pyramid termite at 9:49 AM on June 27 [7 favorites]


> The decision applies to non-members, not members. Not that it is any less horrific, but it is an important distinction.

Indeed, that's my typo. Would appreciate a correction from the mod on duty.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:49 AM on June 27 [3 favorites]


Thinking about the free rider problem, is there any way to exclude those who choose not to join the union from the benefits brought by union members? Like, you know, weekends, paid lunch breaks, holidays, maternity leave, etc?
posted by epanalepsis at 9:50 AM on June 27 [7 favorites]


The decision applies to non-members, not members. Not that it is any less horrific, but it is an important distinction.

That's not a distinction, it's the entire point. It's about weakening unions by allowing freeloaders to get the benefit of the concessions won by the union without having to contribute anything. In the long run, it's a sucker's game because eventually the union will collapse and the gains will be lost, but the laws and the ruling are all about making that possible.
posted by Ickster at 9:50 AM on June 27 [38 favorites]


[Edited the post to add "non-"]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 9:51 AM on June 27 [8 favorites]


(Didn't realize grumpybear69 was commenting on a mistake in the post; I was obviously ready for an argument, but apparently only paid for the 5 minutes.)
posted by Ickster at 9:52 AM on June 27 [9 favorites]


It's considered pretty dodgy by many, but is there room for the practice of denying union benefits to those who aren't in the union? The idea is it makes it clear to workers that the union works in their interests, and joining a union improves your working life. If you're not contributing to collective bargaining, you don't reap its benefits.

It's an ugly tactic, that many argue pits workers against unions, but I can see the appeal and am yet to see great arguments against, not that I don't believe they might exist. Is this a possibility in the US? Is it something unions might pursue?

If it's what it takes to rebuild union participation rates, I think I could support it.
On preview, basically it's putting into practice what epanelepsis suggests.
posted by AnhydrousLove at 9:52 AM on June 27 [7 favorites]


"[c]ompelling individuals to mouth support for views they find objectionable violates that cardinal constitutional command, and in most contexts, any such effort would be universally condemned."

Okay, let's get Alito and the rest of the conservative justices to take a look at NFL players kneeling, or restaurant owners refusing service to someone, or saying the pledge in schools, or doctors that want to discuss abortions with patients.

FREEDOM. Sacrosanct for white conservative men. Everyone else - know your place.
posted by triggerfinger at 9:53 AM on June 27 [47 favorites]


Yeah, in the spirit of the recent MeTa reminding people to presume good faith, let's start by not jumping all over the person who was merely trying to correct my factual error.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:53 AM on June 27 [5 favorites]


the number one way of solving problems that most union members have is the grievance procedure

It's one way, but not the only one. At my workplace all leave policies and pay scales are the result of union negotiation - for example, we are in the middle of bargaining about closures during Xmas week (we are open, and may trade salary increases for having paid time off the days between Xmas and New Year's). If the employer negotiates that with the union, every employee gets that time off.
posted by epanalepsis at 9:53 AM on June 27 [2 favorites]


Just in case it isn't clear: I heart unions!
posted by grumpybear69 at 9:53 AM on June 27 [12 favorites]


Fuuuu... This means the teacher's unions, right? I'm sick to my stomach.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 9:56 AM on June 27 [2 favorites]


Start with a senate and electoral college that gives disproportionate power to the rural, reactionary, and racist elements of America. Mix in a senate majority leader who is willing to upend democratic norms to keep a Supreme Court seat empty for a year rather than acknowledge that a president of the other party has the right to fill that seat. Then add a little Russian interference, which tips the scales and pushes a proto-fascist ignoramus into the White House. Said ignoramus fills the open SCOTUS seat with a reliably Republican doofus, and SCOTUS sets about dismantling voter protections and labor bargaining power, making it harder and harder for working class people to have a say in anything happening, and easier for the forces of ethnonationalism and greed to hang onto power even as they comprise a smaller and smaller share of the electorate.

I don't see a good way out of this. It's getting to the point that the Democratic party will have to temporarily do their own upending of democratic norms if they ever regain the majority and the White House, just to ensure the playing field is leveled. You'd have to do something like impeach Gorsuch, and expand SCOTUS to 11 justices just to have a good shot at reversing this nonsense. None of that sits well with me, but if they don't do something along those lines, the GOP is going to keep making it harder and hard to have a fair election, and we'll just keep sinking into fascism.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 9:58 AM on June 27 [38 favorites]


Apologies if I seem brusque above, but this will have real world demonstrable impact on the lives of those of us whose unions — and livelihoods — are now severely weakened (even further) by this holding. It’s not an abstract question for us.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 10:00 AM on June 27 [6 favorites]


yes of course they did, but why did the union need to be political and support a candidate they didn't agree with the dues.

Since 1988, non-union members covered by collective bargaining agreements, by law, do not have to contribute money towards political advocacy or the support of candidates; today's decision is only about collective bargaining fees, and not -- despite the majority's opinion, which finds collective bargaining to be itself an inherently political act -- about political advocacy.

Which is to say: for the last thirty years, unions neither 'need to' nor are legally able to support a candidate with dues, unless you're a union member.

(I realize you might be talking about people who were members, but I mention this because there's still a lot of confusion about what unions could and couldn't legally do in the US before today, and today's decision substantively covers non-members rather than members.)
posted by cjelli at 10:01 AM on June 27 [12 favorites]


Absolute fucking insanity. Are there marches planned to protest this?
posted by _Synesthesia_ at 10:02 AM on June 27 [1 favorite]


My taxes go towards grants for crisis pregnancy centers which are primarily engaged in a political mission promoting speech I do not support, even if the purpose of that grant isn't to promote anti-abortion politics!

I don't know if I will ever stop being flabbergasted by activist conservative judges.
posted by muddgirl at 10:02 AM on June 27 [30 favorites]


Thinking about the free rider problem, is there any way to exclude those who choose not to join the union from the benefits brought by union members? Like, you know, weekends, paid lunch breaks, holidays, maternity leave, etc?

No. As explained in the other thread, for over 40 years the Supreme Court has endorsed the "fair representation rule" which requires unions to negotiate and to provide the same benefits and union services for non-members as for members, except now unions are not allowed to charge an agency fee for their efforts.

The right wing Supreme Court has chosen to enforce the 40-year-old precedent of the fair representation rule at the same time it have overturned the 40-year-old precedent of the agency fee rule.
posted by JackFlash at 10:03 AM on June 27 [17 favorites]


This can at least be partially solved with a culture shift. If you're not a member of the union then you're freeloader scum, pay your dues or GTFO.
posted by KeSetAffinityThread at 10:05 AM on June 27 [7 favorites]


cjelli: "Since 1988, non-union members covered by collective bargaining agreements, by law, do not have to contribute money towards political advocacy or the support of candidates"

Longer than that -- this decision overturned Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, from 1977.
posted by crazy with stars at 10:05 AM on June 27 [4 favorites]


I work in a company where the union dues are voluntary -- essentially the same situation that will now existing in public unions -- and it does manage to work. Participation is only around 25%, which effectively limits the union's power and attention span. However, when the company has done something significant to impact workers, union membership typically rises. So it might be the case that this will result in a union where the actual members are more interested and more active than with involuntary membership.
posted by srt19170 at 10:06 AM on June 27 [6 favorites]


this is not very good, but following on from comments about the free rider problem - it's not as bad as you think it is

Yes, it is worse.

Many red states already have so-called "Right to Work" laws that forbid union agency fees for non-members. What the Supreme Court has done is extend these "Right to Work" laws by judicial fiat to states such as California and New York where voters have turned down these efforts.

And it isn't trivial. States that already have "Right to Work" laws have half the union participation of those that don't. Why, it's almost like if you get something for free, you are less likely to want to pay for it. Who could have guessed?
posted by JackFlash at 10:11 AM on June 27 [30 favorites]


This can at least be partially solved with a culture shift. If you're not a member of the union then you're freeloader scum, pay your dues or GTFO.

I'm not sure how I would know which of my coworkers are union members. Not that it would help; I can't even get them to feel bad about not voting in 2016.
posted by tofu_crouton at 10:12 AM on June 27 [5 favorites]


Mitch McConnell's sabotaging of democracy paying dividends yet again.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 10:13 AM on June 27 [5 favorites]


The Local 150 union, whose members all pay into the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF), has already informed those pension management groups that, under Janus, it expects its mandatory public pension contributions for government jobs to be excluded from paying for corporate lobbying, under the same theory that the government cannot compel speech, and has asked its managers to inform them how they're going to do that, or face lawsuits for violating employees First Amendment rights.

They're also preparing to sue to a shit-ton of Illinois municipalities who belong to the Illinois Municipality League, which does a bunch of lobbying at the direction of ALEC, arguing that individual taxpayers can't be compelled to pay for speech they disagree with in the form of lobbying.

Other groups have filings ready to go arguing that limitations on bargaining (Scott Walker's Act 10) are unconstitutional limits on speech under Janus, barring public employee unions in any sector in any state is an unconstitutional limit on speech, and even objecting to municipal and state advertising. Right-to-work laws are also going to come under attack, as the unions argue they can't be compelled to speak for non-members now.

It will also open up a cascade of lawsuits based on employer restrictions on employee speech (especially in the public sector) -- it may now be unconstitutional for the NFL to give direction to its employees about their behavior during the anthem. And we may all be able to file citizen lawsuits demanding our 3 cents back for the advertising payments to the NFL by the military!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:13 AM on June 27 [58 favorites]


Can the unions negotiate contracts with the employers whereby the employer is required to pay into the union X amount for each employee they hire? Effectively putting the onus on the employer rather than the non-union members?
posted by Room 101 at 10:15 AM on June 27 [2 favorites]


I'm not sure how I would know which of my coworkers are union members. Not that it would help; I can't even get them to feel bad about not voting in 2016

I'm in a public sector union and members have a nifty little sign under their nameplate on the door to their cube or office that says they are a member. Fee-payers do not. Some people don't feel shamed by it at all and some signs will likely be added or removed with this decision, but it's very clear who is a member of the union.

As to the possibility of not supporting non-members with union benefits - we have a hard time now getting the legislature to meet us halfway when bargaining. We worked without a contract for 10 months this fiscal because they couldn't agree to terms, for example. If we had any less power and especially if some employees weren't under the union contracts, we'd never get a decent contract signed.
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 10:23 AM on June 27 [3 favorites]


[A couple deleted. No relitigating the 2016 primaries, or I swear to god I will lock you all in a winnebago together with the radio stuck on soft rock ballads of the '90s.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 10:23 AM on June 27 [68 favorites]


Also worth noting that, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, union worker wages are 25% more than non-union worker wages. Union dues are typically 1% to 2% of wages. Quite the bargain.
posted by JackFlash at 10:24 AM on June 27 [15 favorites]


If I'm a union, I look at instituting charges for representation in grievances. Those charges would be very low for dues-paying members. For non-members, full price and we're talking attorney rates. This would invite a court challenge, to be sure, but this is worth forcing that hand. In this case they're charging everyone. Lower rates are a union benefit.
posted by azpenguin at 10:33 AM on June 27 [11 favorites]


Are there marches planned to protest this?

My union (AFSCME) along with others is having an "emergency response" march later today in Minneapolis. I am sad that I can't go - I'm in my third trimester and walking any distance is hard for me. I would not be surprised if unions in other cities are doing something similar today.

I am a full member and am hoping to get more involved with my union after Kid 2 is born and my family can settle into a more regular schedule. I get 6 weeks maternity leave at full pay thanks to them, which is a huge perk (I also can take additional leave under FMLA and am using short-term disability to help fund that time). Every job I've had up until this one has done some sort of UNION BAD! CORPORATION GOOD! propaganda screening as part of new hire training. Unsurprisingly, they all had crap benefits too, and this union job has the best perks of any job I've had.
posted by castlebravo at 10:34 AM on June 27 [11 favorites]


union worker wages are 25% more than non-union worker wages

This is proof of the argument that just won in the Supreme Court. Those wages have to come from somewhere - they come from the US tax payer. Hence, the union is winning a net tax increase for US tax payers in order to fund their additional wages. That is an inherently political act. Paying for union wages is paying for lobbying for a tax increase, a political act.

If unions were worthwhile, they wouldn't need mandatory fees. If unions were worthwhile, they'd be lobbying against mandatory representation (which is also illogical post-Janus), but instead they are doubling-down on mandatory representation. Why? Because they can't get their fees any other way.
posted by saeculorum at 10:35 AM on June 27 [4 favorites]


I spent this past weekend with my brother, who is an American history professor. I asked him if things were as bad as they seemed. (By which I meant systemically, the rot at the root.) He said he believes we are in serious trouble, and there are three things that have to happen to pull us out of it: 1) corporate money out of politics, 2) end gerrymandering, and 3) strengthen unions. Welp. The Supreme Court has done a hell of a job this week entrenching the inequality that is driving us all off a cliff.
posted by Mavri at 10:36 AM on June 27 [8 favorites]


If I'm a union, I look at instituting charges for representation in grievances. Those charges would be very low for dues-paying members. For non-members, full price and we're talking attorney rates.

This is flat out illegal by Supreme Court "fair representation" precedent. It can't be changed without a change in the laws or the Supreme Court overturning. What do you think the likelihood of that with this Supreme Court and this congress?

Besides, that doesn't work for the benefit of unions anyway since the reduction of agency fees harms unions. It is in the company's interest to give the same benefits to non-members as they negotiate for members because that drives a wedge in union membership. Why join a union if you get the benefits for free?
posted by JackFlash at 10:44 AM on June 27 [3 favorites]


Paying for union wages is paying for lobbying for a tax increase, a political act.
If unions were worthwhile, they wouldn't need mandatory fees


Do you really not see how these two statements are in direct contradiction? Either unions are so effective that their negotiating tactics are gonna bankrupt every US taxpayer, OR unions are useless vampires who suck up members' fees and give their members nothing in return, but both of those things can't be simultaneously true.
posted by halation at 10:44 AM on June 27 [26 favorites]


If unions were worthwhile, they wouldn't need mandatory fees.

A union could get you unicorns and sprinkles, but if you get the unicorn even if you don't pay, why would you pay? It has nothing to do with the quality of what the union provides.
posted by tofu_crouton at 10:48 AM on June 27 [18 favorites]


Paying for union wages is paying for lobbying for a tax increase, a political act.

lol except taxes benefit society, just like unions do.
posted by poffin boffin at 10:48 AM on June 27 [35 favorites]


My tax dollars go to a government lead by a treasonous child-rapist, and that money goes to support innumerable causes I do not support. My free speech is being violated by tax dollars, therefore I shouldn't have to pay them.
posted by GoblinHoney at 10:49 AM on June 27 [29 favorites]


Unions seemed to make up the largest part of the 3rd party organizations that worked on behalf of the Democratic Party; making phone calls, knocking on doors, making donations, etc...
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:53 AM on June 27 [1 favorite]


A close friend is a public school teacher in a local district. The district union's upper leadership is comfortably in bed with the administration-- are regularly seen taking off work to have drinks/golf with the superintendent, for instance.

Every time a contract is renegotiated, the union bosses ardently talk up what a great deal the teachers are getting (while... oops... forgetting to distribute the actual terms in advance, etc.), and enthusiastically sign. After the fact it inevitably turns out that the contract involved a ton of concessions to the administration cronies in the form of creeping duties, poor labor protections, reduced salaries, etc.

The state leadership of the union doesn't ever care or intervene, because why would they? They're getting their mandatory dues regardless. It's not like labor can vote with their feet; they're required to pay dues whether they are union members or not.

Everywhere else, more accountability is a good thing. I support collective worker action, but shitty, cronyistic, non-accountable "unions" are the reverse of a voice for the workers as a whole. I don't see how mandatory dues don't contribute to that.
posted by yersinia at 11:03 AM on June 27 [3 favorites]



Everywhere else, more accountability is a good thing. I support collective worker action, but shitty, cronyistic, non-accountable "unions" are the reverse of a voice for the workers as a whole. I don't see how mandatory dues don't contribute to that.


JFC

This isn't: "let's replace some corrupt unions with better unions"

This is "let's starve unions en masse until they are weakened or dead, make them illegal, then laugh over the workers scrambling over each others corpses for minimum wages and work safety enforcement"
posted by lalochezia at 11:06 AM on June 27 [42 favorites]


Unions also need active membership; union leaders are elected.
posted by armacy at 11:08 AM on June 27 [8 favorites]


"My free speech is being violated by tax dollars, therefore I shouldn't have to pay them."

Conservatives Will Baude and Eugene Volokh argued in their amicus brief that this was exactly the outcome that will come from ruling in Janus's favor.

I have heard there are lawsuits in the works on this point, both in a general way ("I should get to pick and choose where my taxes go") and also attacking specific types of state-government spending, specifically tax breaks for distasteful corporations to locate in that state or state grants to particular organizations (often faith-based) that the taxpayer objects to.

I've been following Janus closely as it wends it way through the courts, as has everyone involved in Illinois government in any way, and my summing up thought would be, this is sort-of the inevitable consequence of insisting money is speech, and there's going to be a cascade of lawsuits that conservatives aren't going to be happy about as progressive organizations start suing to stop paying for things conservatives love (municipal lobbying that achieves the bulk of ALEC's evildoing) and use this decision to increase employee leverage against employers.

In a normal world, I would expect corporate pressure (from corporations angry at the upheaval) to eventually force even Republicans to grudgingly get on board to create a new balance on these issues, and move to legislatively stem the unintended consequences of Janus that threatens to tear down conservative hobby horses by restoring some balance. But my fear is that in Trump world, a lot of conservatives will cheer on the destruction of even institutions that conservatives love, because they just want to see everything destroyed, regardless of how and by whom.

Anyway. Illinois progressives and Democrats and unions are well-prepared to fight back and have a bunch of lawsuits ready to go so the unintended consequences should begin shortly. But I'm still worried.

(Inside Illinois politics tip: "Local 150" always brings the best lawsuits, the ones that make you raise your eyebrows like, "Are they really filing that?" but the suits are always just enough within the realm of legal plausibility to make a strong case, and they have savvy and talented lawyers. They are Overton-shifters par excellence and they drive state Republicans CRAZY. The punch considerably above their weight, so if you see them involved in a case (or a campaign), you should take notice because it's probably important and they're probably aimin' to misbehave.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:08 AM on June 27 [45 favorites]


Aaaaand Justice Kennedy just announced his retirement. Great job, everybody.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 11:09 AM on June 27 [3 favorites]


welp

kennedy is retiring
posted by poffin boffin at 11:09 AM on June 27 [3 favorites]


I'm not sure how I would know which of my coworkers are union members

See, this, itself, speaks more to the problem with business unions and mandatory dues paying than a problem with Unions Themselves.

I am a member of a solidarity union, and I know the union card status of everyone in my shop. While I don’t know the dues status, people who are in bad standing (haven’t paid dues in the last few months) can’t vote, which means they don’t decide the direction of the union. But the delegates - who collect dues - do know the dues status of every member in the shop, and if someone hasn’t been paying dues in a few months, they schedule one-on-ones with the person to see how they are doing and how they’re feeling about the union. The overwhelming majority of members are in good standing at any one time, and they take shop action all the time because they believe it’s in their best interests to do so.

But it does take a lot of work - voluntary work - outside of union dues. It requires believing that unions are important more than just as a box you check, but as something that takes and should take hours of your time. And that’s what builds th solidarity - working together for a common cause, not just paying 50$ a month as a line item on your paycheck (or whatever the business unions charge.)
posted by corb at 11:10 AM on June 27 [2 favorites]


Kennedy retires? hoo boy.

keep yer chin up despite the weight of the world pulling it down.
posted by notyou at 11:11 AM on June 27 [2 favorites]


I don't see a good way out of this.

Hi, I’m a skilled, irreplaceable worker that has been getting fucked for a decade, and the acceleration of the fuckitude has increased dramatically in the last 2 years. We expect to get well over 70% of us voting to unionize in the next month. The benefits of collective bargaining seem unbelievably obvious to me when we don’t have it right now. It’s really weird to think that there are unionized industries out there that are so complacent about the protections they enjoy from the unimaginable heartless evil of pure capitalism that they aren’t already gladly supporting their union. It is literally the most powerful thing you can do to ensure your rights and fight back.

Support your union or find out the hard way what your union was doing for you. And if you don’t have a union, consider reaching out to a local representative about starting one, they’ll be happy to talk to you. When both parties are entirely beholden to corporate money, this is the only voice you have left. When elected leaders and managers are not listening to the individuals who are getting stomped on, this is how you remind them not to do that.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 11:15 AM on June 27 [34 favorites]


Bryce Covert, NYT: Workers Must Get Radical to Fight Back Against Janus
Workers will have to reconstruct this countervailing power and find new ways to build solidarity. We’re going to have to get bold again.

We’ve seen a version of what this could look like in this year’s teachers strikes. As the momentum of those strikes has shown, when workers are boxed into a corner there’s appetite for going outside the normal lines of acceptable action. In West Virginia, Oklahoma, Arizona and Kentucky, where teachers are not legally allowed to strike, they nevertheless walked out of classrooms and won raises for themselves and other state employees.

[...]

Americans have done this before. In the 1930s, workers had to get militant in the face of a legal landscape in which strikes and organizing were restricted or even banned. That period ended with a truce that exchanged labor peace for laws that facilitated unionization, a truce that is now all but broken. We have no choice but to take up our organizing arms once more.
Erik Loomis, LGM: The Future of Unions and The Courts
I mean, yes, [Covert]’s right about that. And maybe that’s what happens. But various versions of this essay have been published with every major union loss since Reagan busted the air traffic controllers. And it never happens. Does it happen now? Certainly the case of the teachers is a good sign. But a whole lot of public sector union locals are very sleepy. And reconstructing the union militancy of the 1930s takes a whole wide set of factors that are really hard to replicate or that we wouldn’t want to replicate, such as the fact that lots of those militant union workplaces were also militant about being lily-white.

Moreover, given the extreme likelihood of further SCOTUS decisions limiting union activities, it’s just going to get worse. Plus, as I have explored throughout my labor history series, there is almost no evidence that American workers can win their struggles in the face of state power actively used against them.
That includes the Court. And it really hasn’t mattered how militant workers have been. They can’t overcome the combined power of the state and employers except by electing politicians that will do the right thing. That’s hard to do and even harder to sustain.

So these are grim days.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:30 AM on June 27 [5 favorites]


My public sector union won major concessions from management with just the threat of an unauthorized walkout. Well that, and a hell of a lot of organizing. It works. When we unite.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 11:34 AM on June 27 [11 favorites]


And that’s what builds th solidarity - working together for a common cause, not just paying 50$ a month as a line item on your paycheck (or whatever the business unions charge.)

Speaking as a union delegate who puts in the voluntary work--you need the $50 too. You really need it. We have people in our shop who don't do anything except the line item in their paycheck, and we need those members too. There is no either/or here. You can build solidarity and have mandatory membership. Painting the deprivation of funds as a good development for unions because they will have to rely more on voluntary labor to convince free riders not to be free riders is not in line with anything I have experienced as a union member.
posted by Mavri at 11:39 AM on June 27 [8 favorites]


Well, at least McConnell set the precedent that we can delay the court appointment as its too close to an election day. We'll just hold off for a couple more years and hopefully get a good pick!
posted by stillmoving at 11:40 AM on June 27 [5 favorites]


the problem with business unions .. I am a member of a solidarity union

What is a business union? What is a solidarity union?

The usual distinction in discussions is public sector and private sector unions. I have no idea what a solidarity union is, other than the fact that all unions require solidarity.
posted by JackFlash at 12:17 PM on June 27 [1 favorite]


This sucks.

That said, unions also suck.

Look, I like the job protections that unions bring. But those protections should apply to every worker in every workplace, and should be enforced by the power of the state.

When my dad's employer illegally fired him for getting injured on the job (and threatening to withold his pension pending waiving rights to medical care for same) - that was a theft the same as if I mugged your grandmother. But no DA on the planet would ever prosecute that. The union sued, and won.

Which is bullshit. The state should have prosecuted that case as the violation of workers rights that it was. If my dad had worked the same job at the non-union shop in the next town over, he would have been screwed.

We need to look past unions, and their flaws, to extending rights of workers to every job from dishpig all the way up. An injury to one is an injury to all - union card or not.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 12:26 PM on June 27 [3 favorites]


I mean, your point is well taken that we need to do even more to help unite and protect workers.

Saying "unions also suck" is a pretty shitty way to make that point though.
posted by lazaruslong at 12:29 PM on June 27 [41 favorites]


In my anecdotal experience unions don't seem to be proactive about reaching out to and informing workers about their ability to form and/or join unions. What's the deal with that? I've conservatively worked 20 jobs where I could have used some help with shitty conditions but had no idea how to do that. Is still don't really, unless you count going to HR, which are really just there to provide cover for the company.
posted by runcibleshaw at 12:30 PM on June 27 [2 favorites]


IDK if this has been already posted recently but here is a good article by Sean McElwee regarding the Supreme Court's much-vaunted judicial apartisanship
posted by JauntyFedora at 12:34 PM on June 27


Saying "unions also suck" is a pretty shitty way to make that point though.

I only say that having belonged to one. And my dad's union did fuck-all for him and others over his ~30 years with them, until they had something big enough they could not ignore it.

There's a real blind spot on the left for the deep flaws of various unions. I have accurately summarized my lived experiences with them. Sorry, not sorry. They suck.

They were necessary when they started. But, they should have been a stopgap, not the solution, to the problems of worker rights abuses. We need a better solution.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 12:56 PM on June 27 [2 favorites]


Great! Looking forward to hearing it.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 1:02 PM on June 27 [27 favorites]


I think the problem is largely PR; unions haven't done a good job at basically making the case for unions to those who aren't actually union members. They seem to have, in general, viewed that as not their problem, when it was very much their problem.

Even at the peak of union membership, which occurred in the US in 1954, only ~35% of workers were actually union members. So it has always been the case that unions are going to be subject to legislation that is largely the result—even in a perfectly functioning, ideal-case world with zero monied influence—of people who aren't union members.

Further, the concentration of labor organization in the public sector probably exacerbated this, because of any part of the economy, unionization of public sector employees is probably likely to be the most controversial. Since public sector employers—practically by definition—exist largely outside the competitive market, there's not an obvious check on the union's ability to extract higher wages in excess of market rates. In the private sector, a union can only win concessions insofar as the overall firm is still profitable; if the company becomes uncompetitive and goes out of business due to the union demanding too high prices for its members labor, everyone loses. But it's not clear how this natural balance occurs if the "company" is in the taxing or money-printing business, and thus literally can't go out of business. This tension is why you get weird stuff like the NYS Taylor Law. Public sector unions which exist under Taylor Law-type regulatory structures are inherently a bit weird, compared to what I think the public thinks of unions as ideally being (on an unconscious cultural level, mostly): as ways to prevent Capital from accruing excess profits to itself at the expense of workers, and as a mechanism to ensure the more fair distribution of profits to Labor.

Public sector unions are always going to be a bit controversial because they have the weird effect of putting voters in the position of Management, as taxpayers. That's a pretty delicate position for a union be in, since its existence (in the current, regulated form) depends largely on the will of voters expressed through the political system. Given that inherently delicate position, I've always been a little surprised that public sector unions haven't been a little more focused on good PR and optics to the public. The teachers' unions are about the only ones that I can think of that seem to consistently do a good job of stating why their existence benefits the public.

It might be the case that when the political-party winds shift we'll see a reversal of this, but ultimately the tail can only wag the dog so much—I think much of the pressure on unions comes, at its root, from the public not being particularly interested in what happens to them. That's the crux of the whole problem, and if you could solve that, the political system would eventually, in its gruesome stochastic way, start moving in the other direction.
posted by Kadin2048 at 1:09 PM on June 27 [4 favorites]


They were necessary when they started. But, they should have been a stopgap, not the solution, to the problems of worker rights abuses. We need a better solution.

How about something like employees organize together and decide collectively what they feel they are fairly owed for their labor or they threaten to stop producing shit? Maybe they like agree to collect money from each other to pay for the expenses of organizing? Oh, and just in case the people you put in charge of the money turn out to not represent your interests maybe you could periodically vote your confidence in them? And just to make sure there’s no shenanigans, you could have some kind “national labor relations board” that certified the voting was above board and fair.

I don’t think it would ever work because there’s no way you could prevent management using intermediaries like the mob to infiltrate the workers organization, I mean, that would take laws and enforcement and shit.

But if my idea ever took off, I’d call it the “Happy Workers Fuck Capitalism Fun Club.”
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 1:15 PM on June 27 [21 favorites]


But it's not clear how this natural balance occurs if the "company" is in the taxing or money-printing business, and thus literally can't go out of business.

The government has to compete with businesses for the best workers. If they don't pay enough, workers will choose to leave government and work for private companies. If teachers, for example, had unlimited power to set their own wages, as you seem to imply, they wouldn't be so poorly paid that they are forced to go on strike to get their first raise in 10 years as in Oklahoma. Governments will negotiate with unions but they won't pay more than they need to get the employees they require.
posted by JackFlash at 1:24 PM on June 27 [4 favorites]


What is a business union? What is a solidarity union?

So here’s Wikipedia’s writeup of business unionism, it’s not too terrible. Here’s a page from my union with some quick links to articles about it.. Essentially, the simple version is that it’s a union that operates under the idea that unions should be run like a business, rather than a democratic organization - with a hierarchical, rather than flat structure. It usually has a significant amount of paid staffers whose only job is to do union business - which lets them get very skilled, but also means they are somewhat insulated from the concerns on the shop floor. They are usually trade unions, who organize skilled workers under the idea that the skilled workers together cannot be replaced easily because of their knowledge and talents.

Solidarity unionism relies on a more flat organizational structure and direct power and strategy in the hands of the workers, who organize on the shop floor - usually wall-to-wall - on the basis of shared interests. It may use legalism as a tool, but generally supports a diversity of tactics - it is also more personal and relies on a metric fuckton of voluntary work. Dues are voluntary and must be earned. It relies less on “we are valuable workers you can’t find elsewhere” and more on “we will shut down your business if you fuck with us.” And “us” includes the unskilled workers, like janitors or cafeteria workers.
posted by corb at 1:27 PM on June 27 [11 favorites]


I just got back from a small noon rally on campus organized by AFSCME and attended by all the other campus unions - it was sparse though because school's out.

They were necessary when they started. But, they should have been a stopgap, not the solution, to the problems of worker rights abuses. We need a better solution.

Or maybe we need better unions? I don't think it's just a blind spot for the left that some unions are bad. I think it's a blind spot for workers - in crappy unions or not - that unions need to be member driven. I've seen the rot that sets in when the members become detached and have the attitude of "what can my union do for me?" or "well my union isn't doing anything other than taking my dues", and often the union leadership and staff are focused on keeping their power not on serving the members. Yeah, it's totally a thing. A better solution would be a democratized union that listens to and acts upon the wishes of the members, but this requires membership engagement and it's hard work.

And I think the decline of this involvement and the power of unions also reflects the lack of political education on these issues. I know in my union when we start talking about coalition building and solidarity with other unions, members freak out like we're calling for revolution. I guess I am in that I want workers to support one another for just wages and protections? I think this goes in with the narrative that unions are bad at PR. Right now my union is bargaining for a new contract and it's been hard to remind our members that we have the contract we have now because we collectively worked for it, and that there are no guarantees our next contract won't be as good. There is no baseline. We could go backwards. Union PR needs to remind members that our conditions are good (or OK) because of the union all the time. We need to support people in grievances that help all workers. I hope Janus can revive that conversation. In my union's case, that's going to be really hard since we are losing staff in preparation of Janus.
posted by kendrak at 1:31 PM on June 27 [3 favorites]


"This thing that did something but not as much as I think it should have and it should be done for everyone in some other way anyway so fuck it" could have been the Green Party 2016 slogan if it had fit on a bumper sticker. I had no idea you could apply accelerationism to unions but there you go.

Also, pencil me down as a no thanks on this idea of finding a way to rejigger unions using the sort of philosophy behind charity is great but only churches should do it.
posted by phearlez at 1:31 PM on June 27 [11 favorites]


The thing is, the “labor peace” bought by the NLRB is...insufficient. So, there was an illegal lockout at the company I work for as a result of legally protected union activity. The NLRB was like “my god! Of course we can get you an emergency injunction! There’s a wealth of evidence!” Except their version of emergency was... “Don’t expect it before two months, of course we have to give the employer time to respond.” What low-wage worker - hell, what medium wage worker - can survive two months out of work? Nobody. So we said “fuck it, we’re not waiting for them”, and did a round of national picketing and a call in campaign from concerned citizens. And lo and behold, the lockout was ended in two weeks. And some of that is that when we called for a picket, other members of our union joined in the informational picket /even though they didn’t work for the company./
posted by corb at 1:33 PM on June 27 [3 favorites]


A little while back I bought the book Fighting Fascism: How to Struggle and How to Win by Clara Zetkin, who was by all accounts a pretty cool woman.

Anyway. I bought it for pretty obvious reasons which absolutely included a need to fend off a feeling of hopelessness. But I hit a barrier I wasn't sure how to mentally get around. One of the main things she emphasizes is the need for strong unions and worker solidarity. There's even a bit about how other we can't drive away other workers if their beliefs are rooted in bigotry/nationalism/racism/xenophobia, but that we have to sway them in order to best fight back. Which, yeah. I honestly have not been able to work my way past that given the current climate in the US (and elsewhere).

I'd been looking into the best way to contribute to unions and worker efforts myseslf despite one not being available where I work. (I have considered the iww.)

Needless to say this decision makes me a good deal more depressed.
posted by nogoodverybad at 2:03 PM on June 27 [3 favorites]


tofu_crouton: "I'm not sure how I would know which of my coworkers are union members. Not that it would help; I can't even get them to feel bad about not voting in 2016."

If you are part of a union membership lists are generally open to you. I'm in the IBEW and we're pretty good about having identification in the form of pins, hardhat/toolbox stickers, branded clothing etc. to identify members. Some of those are going to be attached to people who aren't paid up but generally there is pretty high correlation between membership and branding.
posted by Mitheral at 2:05 PM on June 27 [3 favorites]


I'd been looking into the best way to contribute to unions and worker efforts myseslf despite one not being available where I work. (I have considered the iww.)

In my area the DSA has been making a concerted effort to show up and support unions. I think they realize that supporting workers is a concrete way to further their goals. I don't know if that would work for you.

I'm in the IBEW and we're pretty good about having identification in the form of pins, hardhat/toolbox stickers, branded clothing etc. to identify members. Some of those are going to be attached to people who aren't paid up but generally there is pretty high correlation between membership and branding.

This reminds me I need to get stickers made for my local. The good branding for members not only helps with a collective identity, but it also makes union membership and participation a normal thing. Since I'm in a union with professionals, many of whom aren't comfortable admitting they're in a union, we're working on making union identification as regular and inconsequential as stating your job.
posted by kendrak at 2:14 PM on June 27 [1 favorite]


Thinking about the free rider problem, is there any way to exclude those who choose not to join the union from the benefits brought by union members? 

They can be excluded from the "not getting your tires slashed in the parking lot" club.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 2:18 PM on June 27 [7 favorites]


OK, so this is some fantasy land talk, but what if Democrats in the Senate filibustered everything until Trump nominated - and I shit you not - Merrick Garland? Like, we want our seat back, but it's not too late to grow a spine?

Maybe it can move overton the window at least?

I can dream, right?
posted by tarshish bound at 2:26 PM on June 27 [14 favorites]


runcibleshaw: In my anecdotal experience unions don't seem to be proactive about reaching out to and informing workers about their ability to form and/or join unions. What's the deal with that?

In most circumstances, it is legal for employers to totally restrict non-employee union organizers (i.e., people who are employed by the union) from entering workplaces. In other words, union organizers aren't allowed to reach out to workers at their workplaces. This makes it difficult for unions to get their foot in the door.

corb: The thing is, the “labor peace” bought by the NLRB is...insufficient.

It sure is. But, in the NLRB's defense, the Board has to go to federal court to get an injunction and the standard is incredibly high (the Board has to prove that, absent an injunction, the Union would suffer "irreparable harm"). Notably, the Board's power to seek injunctions was granted by a 1947 anti-union amendment to the Act, with the intention to allow the Board to seek to enjoin certain kinds of strikes. Those amendments also precluded the Board from conducting independent economic analyses.
posted by materialgirl at 2:45 PM on June 27 [2 favorites]


Well. If I don't have to pay dues to a my democratically elected union I don't agree with then why am I handing my cash over to my less democratic government that I don't agree with?
posted by zenon at 3:00 PM on June 27 [5 favorites]


For seven years between 2007 and 2013 Republicans, assisted by Saint McCain filibusters (may he never rest in peace) prevented the NLRB from having a legal quorum of members meaning they could do absolutely nothing to protect workers or unions. And since Trump, there is now a majority of Trump appointees so the NLRB is again neutered by Republicans. If unions bring a claim of company violations against organizing, it just sits there. Company managers are free to violate the laws protecting unions with impunity.

Republicans have been controlling the gutting of unions for a long time.
posted by JackFlash at 3:15 PM on June 27 [16 favorites]


If I'm a union, I look at instituting charges for representation in grievances. Those charges would be very low for dues-paying members. For non-members, full price and we're talking attorney rates.

If unions are required to represent both members and non-members then I think your proposal would be easy to challenge. How about: charge everybody for representation, but union membership comes with representation insurance. There's already a solid precedent for union insurance; many unions have their roots in things like funeral funds and so forth.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:33 PM on June 27 [1 favorite]


So can being a member of a union entitle you to anything a non member doesn't get? I'm unclear if unions can provide member only benefits, like lower rates on an insurance, negotiated discounts at a local store or something like that.

Even if they can't, it would seem that another institution could chose provide benefits to union members. For example a credit union, as an organization created independent of the union/unions, could only allow membership of those who are currently members of a particular union (or a set of local unions, voted on by members of the credit union), and require those who cease to be union members to close their accounts.
posted by gryftir at 4:47 PM on June 27 [3 favorites]


To clarify, in my starry eyed early unionization delirium, I don’t see knocking down mandatory union dues as a deal breaker in my workplace’s case. We are in the mid to late organizing phase of unionizing which means lots of uncomfortable conversations with respected coworkers who are not down with voting in a union. I don’t have a problem with my equally fucked non union supporting coworkers reaping the benefits of our collective bargaining. They deserve the same reasonable working conditions and ability to thrive that we are fighting for. The fight for social justice always requires that one give more than one expects to receive.

I would hope, at least in a newly created union, that the benefits of paying your dues and fees would be immediately obvious once the floggings stop.

what’s interesting in our case, is that we are a private non-profit where being underpaid and overworked is an accepted part of the deal. In all the conversations and meetings I’ve been to, not once has anyone mentioned that we want more pay. Better benefits, sure we’ll take that, but everyone is *really* motivated by the fact that the new senior management, whose salaries are 50% greater than their predecessors, wants those employees who’ve been here for decades to sacrifice the organization’s mission in the name of making our non-profit profitable “financially viable.” I haven’t had a raise in years, nor am I asking for one. When I hear people who disparage unions, I hear their valid criticisms but I also hear people who have benefitted from unions who are safe and rocked into complacency without realizing that they are the ones who need to make their union relevant and vital.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 6:26 PM on June 27 [3 favorites]


Thinking about the free rider problem, is there any way to exclude those who choose not to join the union from the benefits brought by union members?

I am certainly not a scholar of employment law but I thought this was an option?

Something very roughly like:

-The union has exclusive power to negotiate everyone's contract, which must treat members and non-members equally.
OR
-The union only has power to negotiate members' contracts.
BUT NOT
-The union has power to negotiate everyone's contracts, but they can make discriminatory terms like "10% less pay for nonmembers."
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 6:29 PM on June 27


OK, so this is some fantasy land talk, but what if Democrats in the Senate filibustered everything until Trump nominated - and I shit you not - Merrick Garland? Like, we want our seat back, but it's not too late to grow a spine?

I fully support dying on this hill. The democrats have literallly nothing to lose. There is no chance of gaining anything by playing ball. Their only move is to radicalize, move left and pick up new converts.

Ask Joe Crowley.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 6:40 PM on June 27 [9 favorites]


This one hit me hard, as a skilled tradesperson (nurse) and public sector union member. I enjoy a middle class life - or pretty close, given the insane housing costs of the SF Bay Area. We have enough to go on family vacations, send my kid to nice summer camps, eat organic, stuff like that. And I have really good benefits.

I'm thinking about what we need to do next, and I'm excited to learn more about the European systems for bargaining. But it occurs to me we'll also have to work harder on legislative solutions: If California raised the statewide minimum wage, required paid sick time and expanded paid family leave, if at a legislative level, we built in stronger worker protections, that would be one approach... Free at the point of service universal health care and free college would also make workers less trapped in shitty jobs. I think we're going to have to shift our efforts...
posted by latkes at 9:38 PM on June 27 [3 favorites]


A system that provides benefits to only 30ish percent of the potential class, by definition, sucks
Unions have always fought to provide those benefits to every worker, that not every worker supports unions is hardly their fault.

No union organiser I've ever met gives a shit about police unions, or even considers them unions. They're class traitors, not a part of the struggle.

The reason why we have unions instead of just a comprehensive state is because workers can't trust the state to work in their interests. We have to stand together instead of handing off our collective power to our employers and their enforcers. If the state is your employer, you can't trust the state to treat you well, even if such a system could work for private sector employees (which it wouldn't).

Trade unions have a lot of broken shit in them. They make tonnes of mistakes, and their bureaucratic natures cause their leadership to stop having the same interests as their members. None of these things are good enough reasons to get rid of unions. They've always been the most powerful tool of working people. Nothing beats organisation and the ability to withdraw your labour. There is no alternative.

I don't know a single union delegate who doesn't want the best for all workers. I know of shitty unions, for sure, but I also know their rank & file members who hate their leadership and work tirelessly to reform and improve their unions.

There is no blind spot to the flaws of unions on the left. The blind spot is believing you can hand those powers over to a non-workers state and expect them to actually give a damn about workers. The only places I know of that have tried that were either fascist states or Stalinist ones.
posted by AnhydrousLove at 10:49 PM on June 27 [12 favorites]


Keep in mind that the majority of Americans (53%) are employed by small businesses and 90% of those business are companies with 10 or fewer employees (in 2011). Or put into different buckets:
In 2014, according to U.S. Census Bureau data, there were 5.83 million employer firms in the United States.

• Firms with fewer than 500 workers accounted for 99.7 percent of those businesses

• Firms with less than 20 workers made up 89.4 percent of businesses.
And of the people not employed by small business you have 1% of the US workforce being employed by WalMart who engages in such anti union actions as completely shuttering any store that organizes.

There isn't a lot of drive for the two employees of Bob's Pancake house to unionize (even though they would probably derive some benefit from joining something like the IWW).

However there is big buy in by low level, low information workers to the business owner lie that unions are bad for employees.

And more infuriating you have "professionals" who think they are special snowflake, expert negotiators who show disdain for even the discussion of organizing even though they are as much of a cog in the machine as any trade-person. I was totally surprised (sort of) that the big wage suppression collusion by the tech employers a few years ago didn't result in a big successful organization drive. It was writ large that they were getting ripped off by employers and *crickets*.

Pogo_Fuzzybutt: "I even pointed out how my dad benefited. Once. Even at that, those benefits exist only to their members and I know, this is insane - but what if instead of paying dues (taxes, by another name) to an private agency that only covers maybe 1/3 workers, we pay taxes (dues, by another name) to a public agency that covers all the workers ?"

You are never going to get a government agency advocating for things like statutory long weekends or the 40 hour work week out of the blue. Politicians may legislate those things but not without an organized ground swell of demands for it. And unions do raise the working conditions of non union workers. I see it all the time in heavy industry (who are most vulnerable to job actions) where most companies pay at least as much as the union rate and often better (complete benefits are often worse though) because the companies don't want their employees organizing. The union agreement ends up being a base line standard.

Pogo_Fuzzybutt: "And do we even talk about Police Unions ? Because, come on."

Police Unions (and their related Benevolent Societies) while so often bad for the public are wizard effective for their working members.
posted by Mitheral at 10:58 PM on June 27 [11 favorites]


This morning I was talking to some of my union folk about police unions and I realized that I shouldn't talk about class traitors. Also that if they actually took up the cause of workers rights across the board, that would be amazing but they don't.
posted by kendrak at 2:35 PM on June 28 [1 favorite]


I've chosen to interpret this as the Supreme Court giving me the go-ahead to treat my shoplifting as political speech, unconstitutional to restrict.
posted by klangklangston at 7:22 PM on June 29 [3 favorites]


Would it be a good idea if we stopped forcing unions to represent non-members then?

I know there's a difference between private and public municipal and federal employees and that the laws vary between them, but part of me is torn as to whether removing this requirement would have a negative effect on public perception of unions or would help spur membership when non-members find out that they'll no longer help with grievances.
posted by daHIFI at 8:21 AM on July 2


I don't know, when I was a member of the union I got an hour long call from one of the heads of it acting like my new best friend, and within 24 hours she dumped me and never spoke to me again. I'm not sure how much less help I'd be getting as a non paying member.

I'm really conflicted on mine. They're the only way we can ever get a raise BUT otherwise they have not been awesome.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:14 PM on July 2


As a heads up, the IWW also accepts dual-carders, if you are having trouble making your union work for you.
posted by corb at 11:34 PM on July 2 [3 favorites]


^^^ and where your trade union lets you down, the IWW can teach you how to step up and organise yourself and your coworkers.
posted by AnhydrousLove at 11:47 PM on July 2 [1 favorite]


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