Friedrichs vs. the California Teachers' Association was initiated more than a year ago by wealthy, anti-union think-tankers. Their position that unions should provide contracts, benefits and protections for employees, but that those employees should not have to pay their fair share of dues to support those services was a deliberate attempt to break unions across the county by defunding them.
In threatening the unity and strength of unions nationwide, a negative decision would have set working and middle class people across the entire country back decades. In looking at the 21 wealthiest nations in the world, the US, Japan and New Zealand have the least of their employees covered by collective bargaining agreements. They also represent three of the four countries with the highest levels of income inequality.
Unions have always represented a pathway into middle class, and this week's decision at the Supreme Court to uphold "fair share" fees is not only fair, but a victory for unionized and non-unionized workers alike. But the enemy is at the gate, and there are more threats on the way. Whether they're against our right to organize, to collectively bargain, or to retire with dignity, we are confident that our Union will continue to stand united against in defense of those rights.
The HHHTA Executive Board and Representative Council