Teachers: now more than ever–your union membership matters.

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This morning, the SCOTUS ruled–by a 5-4 vote–that Illinois home health care workers cannot be forced to pay dues to a union to which they don’t want to belong.  The court’s conservative majority, led by Justice Alito (who makes no secret of his anti-union sentiments), declared that because the home health care workers are not “full-fledged public employees,” they do not have to abide by laws that require state employees to contribute financially to a union.

While today’s decision is certainly a blow to organized labor, many union leaders and members are relieved that for the time being, the 1977 Abood decision that grants states the right to require workers to pay union dues remains intact.  But given that unions are under attack in all parts of the country (there’s even a group of CA teachers who are suing to stay out of their union), it’s very likely that the Supreme Court

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20 thoughts on “Teachers: now more than ever–your union membership matters.

  1. Currently working my way (slowly) listening to Doris Kearns Goodwin’s “The Bully Pulpit.” It really is a reminder of how much unions matter and how much worse the workplace would be without them.

    • I can’t stop thinking of that book. What happened then—more than a century ago—is seriously connected to what is happening today, but today, everything that was done back then is being undone by the modern version of the Robber Barons of the industrial revolution who were defeated by President Teddy Roosevelt’s progressive agendas. The United States could use a Teddy Roosevelt right now to save the people’s democracy.

      • You know, Teddy never got Standard Oil. He won the battles, but lost the war. Standard Oil became Exxon, Amoco and a dozen others that are our major oil companies today. They laughed all the way to their next board meeting.

        What we really got out of the whole thing? The FDA and our national parks system. Which is a lot, but not one single busted trust stayed busted. Unions made progress, but many (most?) current union members have no understanding of how important their unions are and don’t support them.

        Garry was AFTRA’s union rep for a bunch of years at his station. These days, it’s hard to get anyone to take the position. No one wants to be bothered. And there will be no one to speak for them when it all hits the fan.

      • Yup. Really, they won. And they keep winning because we keep buying their products. Because we are in love with our cars and never developed the kind of rail system they have in other countries. Around here, we have absolutely NO public transportation. Not even a taxi. The joys of living rural 🙂

      • Since I retired from teaching in 2005, I walk a lot. For instance, this morning I walked to town to see the film “Begin Again”. Cute little film. Three mile round trip.

        My goal is to make sure the next car I buy is battery powered.

      • I’m not sure I can yet. But when the time comes in a few years, I’ll find out. My parents didn’t own a new car until very close to the end and then my mother emptied her saving account and paid cash for an economy car—not a luxury car. Before that, all the cars my parents owned were used and my dad changed the brake pads, tuned the car up when needed, changed the tires, did the oil changes, etc.

        Today, with all the computer, high tech cars, I don’t think a backyard mechanic can do that anymore without specialized equipment and training.

      • I was born in Southern California and thanks to Standard Oil, it was turned into a parking lot. The freeway system had its start in 1939 and continued to grow for decades. By the time I left the Marines and started college, most of the freeways were done. Since then, they have been making the wider with more lanes because there are so many cars.

        At one time, Southern California had one of the best light rail systems known as the Little Red Car. It never operated at a loss and took people into the San Gabriel Mountains, all the way to Palm Springs and to the Beaches.

        Then Standard Oil bought the California legislature and had California get rid of the Little Red Car so people would have to buy cars and burn gas to get to work and go shopping.

        My parents and older siblings had been around when the Little Red Car could take you anywhere for a quarter or less—no need for middle class or poor people to pay fortunes for cars, maintenance, insurance, gas, etc. Just hop on the Little Red Car and go wherever you want.

        Standard Oil destroyed all that, and I grew up addicted to the car culture of California.

      • Rockefeller. He never lost. No matter what the legislation, no matter who the president was. He won and even long after his death, he’s still winning. And we are all losing.

      • Look at this documentary that accuses the Rockefeller Foundation of undermining the Catholic Church, in addition to revealing its plans for the world.

        John D. Rockefeller was the founder of the Standard Oil Company and a Philanthropist who had a net worth of $340 Billion. John D. Rockefeller earned his net worth as an icon in the oil business. He founded and operated Standard Oil Company for 27 years, retiring in 1897.

        A coincidence? Bill Gates’ father and Bill Gates have both been linked to the eugenics movement just like Rockefeller.

      • This stuff really makes my headache much worse. It’s why I play ostrich and keep my head firmly in the sand. I can’t fix the world. I can barely hold to my own little piece of it.

      • No one can fix the world. No one ever has. And every time some rich/powerful person tries, they just make the world worse. The best thing they could do is support early childhood education programs with a goal of 100% literacy and lover of books and the truth.

      • The challenge is that as humans we are flawed and it seems even more so for wealthy and/or powerful people who start to think they are perfect and a god (with a lower case g) who can do no wrong even though they are influenced by their own individual biases, ignorance and prejudice.

      • Garry and I were talking about how famous people — athletes, actors, pols, etc. — eventually the fame/power gets to them. They start to believe their own PR. Is it inevitable? A few people manage to avoid it, but mostly, it seems that they all succumb. The longer they are in the public eye, the more their worst qualities take over.

      • Agreed.

        Power comes in many disguises. That power corrupts. It seems that when success grows on success, the corruption of the wealth and power that comes from endless success arrives in the guise of the dark side of man that is the devil inside each of us.

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