“The U.S. Supreme Court decision by Janus vs. AFSCME is greatly disappointing, but not surprising. The extreme anti-worker agenda has been building toward this day for years, by focusing on every single election at every single level of government. They have done this by preaching the false gospel of tax cuts above all else, and government as an obstacle, instead of vehicle for changing people’s lives and righting unjust systems. Along the way, the extreme anti-worker movement has depleted organized labor of their most precious resource — worker members — through austerity politics and policies that were used to justified layoffs and funding cuts, most egregiously in our public schools.
“So, this day is the culmination of years of organizing, strategizing, and relentless politicking by corporate special interests and the elected officials they back. But, I believe the labor movement can and must blunt the worst potential impacts of Janus, and even render Janus irrelevant, by fighting back just as relentlessly, if not more so. When workers and people organize, when they unite around their principles, and fight like hell for their brothers and sisters, they win.
“I will not only continue to stand with the working men and women of Pennsylvania, I will commit to using every tool I have as a legislator to make sure the General Assembly improves conditions for working people, finds ways to allow more Pennsylvanians to form and join unions, and establishes protections for all workers’ benefits, wages, and quality of life — regardless of union status.
“It’s time for Pennsylvania’s General Assembly to step up and be a legislature of and for the people — not corporate special interests. I know that my colleagues on both sides of the aisle who have relied on organized labor to support their campaigns have not always been true allies of labor. This is no time for obfuscation: Every member of the General Assembly who claims to be a friend of organized labor must commit in the clearest terms to supporting working people, starting by moving Pennsylvania into the 21st Century and raising the minimum wage when we reconvene in September. We can no longer afford to lose tax-paying residents to surrounding states that offer better wages. We can no longer allow billion-dollar corporations to offer substandard wages to Pennsylvania workers, forcing them to work multiple jobs and choose between paying utility bills or paying for food.
“To advance the agenda of working people, every member who claims to stand with labor, on both sides of the aisle, should join me in voting for clean versions of Reps Chris Rabb and Patty Kim’s minimum wage bills and Rep. Maureen Madden’s “card check” bill. Pennsylvanians have a right to know where their elected representatives stand on these bills before Election Day.”