While I am not surprised by the Supreme Court's recent Janus decision, I am sickened by the general level of assault on unions today in America. The current state of union labor across the country is declining due to efforts funded by billionaires to squash any remaining power organized labor may have. This is a scary thought.
It was only one hundred years ago when employers had machine guns atop their factories to keep workers in line. It was only last century when private security firms would slaughter workers and their families for striking. The struggle between the economic elite and those who perform the work has always existed. Today, unions are losing this war. Only 6.5% of private sector jobs are unionized and the recent Janus decision will significantly reduce the power of public-sector unions. This is the wrong direction for American labor.
When Trump was running for President, he held rallies with union members, held meetings with union leadership, and claimed, time and time again, that he actually cared about American workers and the struggle they endure. He even threw on a hardhat during one rally to show everyone how much he loves American labor. It was all a ruse! Since taking the oath, he has issued executive orders cutting the "official time" unions have to bargain collectively. He has rebuked the idea of collective bargaining, in general, and encouraged employers to dismiss union employees without consideration of firing guidelines pursuant to particular CBA's. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), under his administration, has diminished or completely done away with policies that either help smaller unions organize, strengthen the bargaining rights of franchise employees, or protect workers from union-busting tactics.
There is an assault underway on unions in America, and Trump's GOP is winning.
This is why state leadership is more important now than ever before. If we cannot rely on the federal government or the Supreme Court to protect workers, we will need the unfettered support of State and local leadership to further the efforts of union labor in Massachusetts. Only the interests of those at the top are served by declining union membership. If there is no one representing the rights of workers in Massachusetts, we are headed towards a Gilded Agee-type economy with no economic safety net, little workplace protections, and no right to collectively bargain.
If elected State Representative of the 11th Bristol District, I will continue to fight against anti-labor forces at the Statehouse as I have done in courtrooms all across the Commonwealth. I have represented hundreds of union workers as an attorney and I've seen firsthand how unions bring economic fairness to a severely-skewed playing field. As a State Representative, I will lead the efforts in our community to encourage all sectors of the labor market to unionize, whether it be fast-food workers or fish house employees. Now is the time to fight back and not legislate from the shadows.