Oct. 20, 2015

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UUP takes Friedrichs fight nationwide

uupdate 10-20-15

UUP has joined America Works Together, a new nationwide coalition formed to fight the union-busting billionaires who have challenged the rights of public sector workers in U.S. Supreme Court.

The organization, created in September, is working to protect public sector workers—such as academics, professionals, firefighters, and nurses—who may lose their ability to collectively bargain and raise their voices as members of a union should the Supreme Court rule for Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association.

The case, to be heard this term, challenges the right of public sector unions to collect agency fees from public sector workers they are legally required to represent. In reality, the case is the latest attempt by groups aligned with union-busting billionaires such as the Koch brothers to break public sector unions nationwide.

“We are happy to be a part of America Works Together,” said UUP President Fred Kowal. “This grass-roots coalition believes as we do, that unions and workers have been under attack for too long and that it’s time to fight back.”

America Works Together is made up of more than 35 civil rights, faith, health, labor, legal, progressive, and women’s organizations, including United We Dream, Americans United for Change, The Center for Black Equity, and the League of United Latin American Citizens.

A number of unions have also joined, such as the NEA, AFT, AFL-CIO, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and United Steelworkers. The California Teachers Association is also a member.

Support for labor unions in America is on the rise. According to an August Gallup poll, 58 percent of Americans approve of unions—the highest approval rating since 2008.

Oral arguments for Friedrichs have not been scheduled. The suit is set to be argued December 2015 or January 2016, with a ruling expected sometime in 2016.

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