Statement of Hoffman For Senate regarding Janus decision:

The recent decision of the United States Supreme Court is an attack on working people by an increasingly right wing court. The case (Janus vs. American Federation of County, State, and Municipal Employees) goes against decades of legal precedents. It involves the ability of public sector labor unions to charge a “fair share” to people who work under a union’s collective bargaining agreement but do not wish to become union members.
Mark Janus and his corporate funded attorneys argued that his First Amendment rights were violated under the 1977 Abood vs. Detroit Board of Education decision. Under that decision, people like Mr. Janus were required to pay for the cost of collective bargaining the contract which they worked under but would not be asked to pay for the union’s political activities. Under the recent decision in favor of Mr. Janus’s argument, unions will still be required by law to represent people who do not join the union but they cannot charge a fee.
Of course, this will make it more difficult for unions to do their job of negotiating fair salaries, providing safe workplaces and ensuring the legal rights of workers. Unfortunately, some members will probably have to pay higher fees to make up for the revenue lost by those who gain benefits but do not want to contribute. Furthermore, without adequate resources, unions will have a harder time protecting the rights of those who receive government services from unionized workers such as school children, the disabled, and hospital patients.
The Janus decision will be good for the wealthy who have been trying to destroy unions for years. Unfortunately, both the Republican and Democratic parties have not done enough to support unions. This can be seen clearly here in New Jersey where our previous governor worked with Democrats in the state Legislature to disrespect collective bargaining agreements and demand that government workers pay exorbitant amounts for medical insurance. Even with Democrats in total control of state government, the Legislature has attacked the health benefits of college employees and the negotiated sick day payouts for all government workers.
Despite this travesty of a ruling, I believe that unions can emerge stronger than ever as workers see that the most effective way to improve their lives is through unity with co-workers.
As a U.S. Senator, I would:
 work to support and to pass pro-worker legislation,
 support unions in their just struggle to provide a better quality of life to the American people,
 promote laws that require all new employees to meet with union representatives,
 create stricter laws against employers who threaten or intimidate workers who want to join unions and prohibit the release of the names, addresses and phone numbers of workers being sent to anti-union groups.
Furthermore, all schools should receive annual presentations by labor officials telling young people about the benefits of joining unions. Too often young people get presentations by the military promoting their joining the armed forces but no comparable information about joining unions. Just like what is given to the military, these presentations should be financed by the federal government.

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