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Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa

Representing the 1st District of Hawaii

Congresswoman Hanabusa’s Statement on Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31

June 27, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa issued the following statement today after the Supreme Court of the United States issued a 5-4 decision in Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31.

“The Supreme Court issued a decision today that overruled forty-one years of labor precedence.  Following an unrelenting, six-year, partisan campaign to overrule Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, the Supreme Court ruled that the public-sector unions’ collection of agency fees for collective bargaining was barred by the First Amendment. This decision abolished major principles that government and its employees have abided by for decades. Essentially, public-sector labor will be prevented from collecting agency fees for the services they provide non-members, like negotiating work hours, vacation time, healthcare plans and other non-political activities. The people of Hawaii believe in fairness and that people should pay for their fair share. Notwithstanding the Supreme Court has instructed the state and unions that there are alternative ways to represent or not represent. This is where the state and unions can negotiate,” said Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa. “As a labor attorney and a firm believer in the balance of collective bargaining, I know that government’s greatest asset is its employees. The most effective and efficient way to manage that asset is through collective bargaining and union representation. Our hard working families and government benefit from that. We must focus on negotiating in good faith to ensure that we are managing our resources and providing protections and a living wage for our workers.”