WASHINGTON, DC — In an amicus brief recently filed by U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the
Catholic Church has sided with the union. Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees could have long-term negative consequences for municipal unions across the country and support from religious organizations is greatly appreciated. U.S. Roman Catholic bishops are backing public sector unions in this upcoming Supreme Court case. The Conference, which represents all Catholic Bishops in the United States, is opposed to the anti-worker Right to Work movement and supports working people. The bishops note their longstanding opposition to “right-to-work” legislation. The Church has a history of supporting unions and the right of individuals to join a union. The Catholic Conference opposed the1947 Taft Hartley Act which allowed states to become Right to Work. The Church equates the importance of this case to cases like Roe v. Wade, which they continue to fight.
AFSCME and other public unions argue that they need nonmembers to pay “fair-share fees” to manage the costs of representing all employees in collective bargaining, as they are legally allowed to do, according to the 1977 ruling Abood v. Detroit Board of Education. The Supreme Court is set to hear Janis v. AFSCME on February 26th.