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Barbara L’Italien Responds To Supreme Court Ruling Against Public Sector Unions

Jun 30, 2018 06:28AM ● By Theresa Gilman

State Senator Barbara L’Italien

(Editor's Note: the following information was provided by Barbara L’Italien for Congress.)

ANDOVER, MA — State senator and congressional candidate Barbara L’Italien (D-Andover) issued the following statement in response to the Supreme Court's ruling in Janus v. AFSCME:
“This decision is just one part of a broad assault against working families by the wealthy and powerful. Unions will be decimated, and real families will be hurt. This case is about big business bottom lines, and has nothing more to do with free speech than Citizens United did. They’re coming for unions because they know united workers can resist corporate abuses.
“However, the victories earned by striking teachers and the Fight for $15 have shown us what the future looks like. However damaging Janus is, this is only one setback in a long war for a better world for all working families - one we can win. I’m going to make it my mission in Congress to ensure the right to organize, living wages, decent working conditions and benefits, and a level economic playing field for all, just like I have in the legislature.”

The Supreme Court has struck down laws requiring public sector employees to pay fair share fees to cover the cost of collective bargaining they benefit from. The decision is likely to have significant impact on the influence of public sector unions, and the legal effort was funded by conservative organizations with ties to major corporate lobbies and Republican mega-donors like the Koch brothers, the DeVos family and Richard Uihlein.
A former union member herself, State Senator Barbara L’Italien has been a powerful advocate for labor unions and working families. She successfully defeated an attempt to cut retirement benefits for public employees in her hometown of Andover and worked with the teachers union to block the attack on public education from Question 2.
In the state legislature, she’s supported a $15 minimum wage, paid family and medical leave, a crackdown on wage theft and expanding collective bargaining rights for gig economy employees, and she will continue to champion these efforts as a congresswoman.
Barbara L’Italien has more labor support than any other candidate in the race. Labor union endorsements for L’Italien include:

  • The National Education Association
  • American Federation of Teachers
  • United Auto Workers
  • The Massachusetts Nurses Association
  • The Massachusetts Coalition of Police (representing the local police in 216 communities)
  • New England Joint Board UNITE HERE
  • Lawrence Firefighters Local 146
  • Fitchburg Firefighters Local 3128
  • Andover Firefighters Local 1658
  • Dracut Firefighters Local Local 2586
  • IBEW Local 1505
  • IBEW Local 2222
  • IBEW Local 2321
  • IBEW Local 2325
  • UFCW Local 1445
  • OPEIU Local 453 (MBTA management union)
  • Sheet Metal Workers Local 17
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