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CONTACT: Mike Lisi (518) 640-6600
Lisi’s cell number: (518) 944-9528


Feb. 26, 2018

Statement from UUP President Frederick E. Kowal on Janus vs. AFSCME Council 31

“Janus v. AFSCME is a sham, a thinly veiled plot to subjugate workers and destroy the unions that fight for fair wages, benefits and dignified retirements for working families.

“The billionaire corporate elites behind this suit understand—and fear—the power of workers united. These unscrupulous, greedy fat cats realize the real threat organized labor poses to their insatiable desire for money and power. The want to take rob us of our voice.

“Unions fight for everyone: for women, for people of color, for the young and old, for the LGBTQ community, for immigrants and for so many others.

“From those who perished in the Triangle Shirtwaist fire and fell in a hail of government bullets in Ludlow, Colorado to those who fell to bombs in Birmingham, and assassins in Memphis and Mississippi, our legacy demands resistance.

“The crux of Janus—paying fair share fees is a First Amendment violation—is groundless. I would argue that Janus impedes the First Amendment rights 'of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.'

“As the nation’s largest higher education union, UUP has been a strong, advocate for public higher education, health care for all, civil rights, the environment, the end of gun violence, and so many other important progressive issues. Organized labor has always been a champion for these causes, and will continue to be, no matter how the Supreme Court rules on this case.

“Together, speaking in one loud, unified voice, labor will survive and thrive. UUP is prepared to fight to preserve the rights of our members to join together to bargain collectively, and to stand up for our members—and all working families.”

UUP is the nation's largest higher education union, with more than 37,000 academic and professional faculty and retirees. UUP members work at 29 New York state-operated campuses, including SUNY’s public teaching hospitals and health science centers in Brooklyn, Long Island and Syracuse. It is an affiliate of NYSUT, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association, and the AFL-CIO.


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