Union leaders have had more than a year to prepare for the Supreme Court’s Janus decision, which was issued yesterday. However, it appears that the best strategy they could come up with in response is this…
Union leaders have correctly predicted for many months that the U.S. Supreme Court would ultimately rule that unions could not compel public-sector workers to pay agency fees to unions as a condition of employment under the Constitution’s First Amendment, which is exactly what the Court did earlier this week.
However, knowing the Janus decision was coming, it appears that union leaders were still unprepared for the eventuality that the Supreme Court would rule against the unions’ right to require payments from government workers.
Since Wednesday’s rulings, and despite knowing it was coming, all that union leaders seem to have come up is issued statements, launched a couple of websites (here and here), scheduled several “Post-Janus Actions and Rallies” around the country, and launched a #hashtag campaign on social media.
It is this last item, the #hashtag campaign on social media (predominantly Twitter), that seems like a rather benign response to what unions and its allies had been hyping as a potentially ‘fatal blow‘ to the union movement.
In sum, the unions are asking supporters to take a sign with the word ‘union’ on it, hold it up and take a ‘selfie,’ then share it on social media.
The unions’ goal appears to be for people to emulate actress Sally Fields’ character ‘Norma Rae’ from the 1979 movie of the same name.
Oddly enough, most of the people who are engaged on social media probably do not realize the emulation since many of them were likely board after 1979.
Nevertheless, thus far, the unions appear to have gotten some left-wing luminaries to tweet their union support, as well as union representatives and union activists.
For example, billionaire investor Tom Steyer, a very prominent liberal donor, tweeted his union support—despite the fact that it is not believed neither he nor his employees are unionized.
Today’s #JANUSvsAFSCME ruling is nothing less than a vicious attack on working people. I stand with our union brothers and sisters, and we must keep fighting for workers rights. #Union #UnionStrong pic.twitter.com/Oe4Z6Ux9wN
— Tom Steyer (@TomSteyer) June 27, 2018
Richard Corday, the former CFPB honcho (and a current gubernatorial candidate in Ohio), tweeted his ‘union support.’ Whether his campaign staff is unionized is still a question.
SCOTUS dealt a big blow to workers and their families today. Now, more than ever, we need strong leadership at the state and local levels to fight for workers and their right to fairness in the workplace. @BettySutton and I stand with working Ohioans and their families. #Union pic.twitter.com/7Q5Wrvn8Wi
— Rich Cordray (@RichCordray) June 27, 2018
Ironically, even former Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards tweeted her union support—despite the fact that Planned Parenthood has been accused of ‘union busting‘ in Colorado.
If you appreciate weekends, the 8 hour day, sick leave and health insurance, thank the labor movement. #Union
— Cecile Richards (@CecileRichards) June 27, 2018
There is also no shortage of union representatives and organizers (whose salaries depend on union dues) tweeting their union support, like this one:
— Kate Black (@JustKateBlack) June 27, 2018
— Megan McKeen™ (@meganemckeen) June 28, 2018
The unions’ lack of a good strategy has not gone unnoticed, however.
BREAKING NEWS: In response to yesterday's #SCOTUS decision on #JANUSvsAFSCME, today's union bosses at the @AFLCIO and @SEIU have launched a new campaign that consists entirely of people doing this on social media…#IKidYouNot pic.twitter.com/If00EINGyT
— The American Workplace (@WorkPlaceRpt) June 28, 2018