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Boilermakers union condemns Supreme Court decision

Janus v AFSCME ruling raises constitutional question

Amy Wiser, Deputy Director of Communications


Kansas City, KS, (June 27, 2018) – The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, a construction and industrial union headquartered in Kansas City, Kansas, condemns today’s Supreme Court decision in Janus v. AFSCME, Council 31, saying the ruling ignores the constitutional rights of dues-paying members.

“There is a fundamental question of fairness that the conservative justices failed to consider or ignored in their majority decision: How is it constitutional or fair for one set of employees in an organized workplace to pay for the representation services of another set of employees who choose not to join the union?” said Newton B. Jones, International President of the Boilermakers union. “By law, non-dues-paying workers receive the same services as dues-paying members, including contract negotiations to improve wages, benefits and working conditions, and representation in disputes with management. In ruling that it is unconstitutional to require non-paying workers to pay ‘fair share’ fees for union services, the justices ignored the constitutional rights of dues-paying members not to pay for services provided to others.”

President Jones said that while the decision will have far-reaching negative implications, especially for public sector unions, labor will mobilize and come together to seek solutions.

“We live in an era of extreme income inequality, and unions are the last hope to ensure good jobs, fair wages, pensions and other benefits,” he said. “American workers will see the Janus decision for what it is – an unbridled attack by union haters on the rights of working people to have a voice on the job and to negotiate with their employers for a better life. We are fully engaged in this fight for worker rights and the future of the middle class.”

Following is an official statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on the Supreme Court’s decision:

The Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in Janus v. AFSCME, Council 31, abandons decades of commonsense precedent. In this case, a bare majority of the court, over the vigorous dissent of four justices, has conceded to the dark web of corporations and wealthy donors who wish to take away the freedoms of working people. Until it is overturned, this decision will be a political stain on what is intended to be the most honorable, independent body in the world. But more importantly, it will further empower the corporate elites in their efforts to thwart the aspirations of millions of working people standing together for a better life.

But here’s the thing: America is heading in a different direction. All over the country, workers are organizing and taking collective action as we haven’t seen in years. More than 14,000 workers recently formed or joined unions in just a single week. This followed a year where 262,000 workers organized and the approval rating of unions reached a nearly 14-year high. Working families know the best way to get a raise, better benefits and a voice on the job is through a union contract. The corporate narrative of the labor movement’s downfall is being dismantled by working people every single day.

We have never depended on any politician or judge to decide our fate and we aren’t about to start now.


Established in 1880, the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers & Helpers is a diverse union representing workers throughout the United States and Canada who are employed in industrial construction, maintenance and repair; ship building; manufacturing; railroads; cement; mining and related industries. More information can be found at

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Published on the Web: June 28, 2018

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