07.10.18

Murray Joins Workers, Teachers, and Unions to Fight Back Against Special Interest Attacks; Stresses Importance of Speaking Out in Light of President Trump’s Anti-Worker Supreme Court Nominee

Democratic Policy and Communications Committee (DPCC) hosted forum on organized labor’s path forward following the Supreme Court Janus decision and role of dark money in bankrolling anti-union, anti-worker campaigns

 

In Janus decision, Supreme Court majority sided with corporate special interests over workers, undermining collective bargaining ability of public sector unions

 

Murray emphasized critical role unions play in raising wages and creating pathways to the middle class

 

Murray: “President Trump has nominated another anti-worker, anti-union nominee to the Court. Judge Kavanaugh has a long history of ruling in the favor of corporations and big business—at the expense of workers.”

 

Murray has introduced Workers’ Freedom to Negotiate Act and cosponsored Sen. Hirono’s Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act

 

***WATCH SEN. MURRAY’S SPEECH HERE***

 

(Washington, D.C.) — Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, delivered remarks today at a forum hosted by the DPCC on what teachers, workers, and unions around the country can do in light of the Supreme Court’s decision in Janus v. AFSCME, which significantly undermined the collective bargaining power of public sector unions.

 

In her remarks, Senator Murray condemned the Janus decision as a loss for working families seeking better wages, benefits, and conditions, and yet another win for the corporate special interests bankrolling dark money campaigns and prioritizing profits over people. Senator Murray expressed firm opposition to the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, who has repeatedly ruled in favor of corporations at the expense of employees, and if confirmed, would work in lockstep with Republicans to protect President Trump’s anti-worker agenda. She also reaffirmed her longstanding commitment to fighting on behalf of unions and supporting legislation that protects workers’ freedom to negotiate a better life for themselves and their families.

 

Key excerpts from Senator Murray’s remarks:

 

“Unions helped create the 40-hour workweek, end child labor, and strengthen the middle class. And unions are still empowering workers in cities and states nationwide, including the countless teachers across the country who have been standing up and fighting against the continuing trend of budget cuts that undermine students’ education.”

 

“However, as corporate special interests have spent billions of dollars on political campaigns and lawsuits designed to chip away at workers’ rights over the past few decades, we’ve seen a decline in union membership and workers’ bargaining power. As a result—wages for working families have become stagnant, while the billionaires who fund these campaigns—including the Koch brothers—have gotten richer and richer.”

 

“Just last month, the Supreme Court ruled against workers in the Janus case, which will make it harder for teachers and public employees to advocate for better wages, working conditions, and benefits. And now President Trump has nominated another anti-worker, anti-union nominee to the Court. Judge Kavanaugh has a long history of ruling in the favor of corporations and big business—at the expense of workers. The lives and livelihoods of millions of workers are at stake here, which is why I’m going to keep fighting back against President Trump’s attempts to undermine working families.”

 

Full text of Senator Murray’s remarks:

 

“Thank you Senator Whitehouse for organizing this hearing, and thank you to our witnesses for being here today to share your stories on how special interest dark money campaigns are hurting workers, unions, and the economy.

 

“For more than a century, unions have organized to lift up the voices of workers who were otherwise unheard, and fought for fair pay, safer working conditions, and better benefits.

 

“Unions helped create the 40-hour workweek, end child labor, and strengthen the middle class. And unions are still empowering workers in cities and states nationwide, including the countless teachers across the country who have been standing up and fighting against the continuing trend of budget cuts that undermine students’ education.

 

“However, as corporate special interests have spent billions of dollars on political campaigns and lawsuits designed to chip away at workers’ rights over the past few decades, we’ve seen a decline in union membership and workers’ bargaining power.

 

“As a result—wages for working families have become stagnant, while the billionaires who fund these campaigns—including the Koch brothers—have gotten richer and richer.

 

“Now I want to spend a little time on the Supreme Court—and what’s at stake here.

 

“Just last month, the Supreme Court ruled against workers in the Janus case, which will make it harder for teachers and public employees to advocate for better wages, working conditions, and benefits.

 

“And now President Trump has nominated another anti-worker, anti-union nominee to the Court. Judge Kavanaugh has a long history of ruling in the favor of corporations and big business—at the expense of workers.

 

“The lives and livelihoods of millions of workers are at stake here, which is why I’m going to keep fighting back against President Trump’s attempts to undermine working families.

 

“That’s why I was proud to introduce the Workers’ Freedom to Negotiate Act and to cosponsor Senator Hirono’s Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act. I’m honored to stand with the teachers, home care workers, and union members across the country, who have made it clear they are going to keep fighting back.

 

“Now I’d like to hear from our witnesses on the impacts these special interest attacks on unions have on working families, and what we can be doing to build an economy that works for all—not just corporations and the wealthiest few.”

 

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