Federal Court Rejection of Corporate-Backed Lawsuit Is A Win for Working People

A federal court has ruled in favor of working families and against wealthy special interests in Danielson v. AFSCME Council 28, a case out of Washington state.  

The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington on Nov. 28 tossed out a lawsuit against Council 28 that would have required the affiliate to return so-called “fair share fees” that were lawfully collected before the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 27 ruling in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31 banned these fees nationwide.

For four decades prior to the Janus decision, all workers, including nonmembers, chipped in to cover the cost of negotiating collective-bargaining agreements, which all workers in a bargaining unit benefit from. They did so under then-applicable laws, which is why the lawsuit against Council 28 has no merit, according to the ruling.

AFSCME President Lee Saunders praised the ruling, noting in a statement that “the facts and the law have always been on our side.”

The ruling “marks a big win against corporate interest groups — the same forces behind the Janus v. AFSCME case — who continue to try and manipulate our nation’s judicial system to rob working people of their freedom to improve their lives,” he said.

While the courts sided with working people this time, the wealthy, corporate-backed special interests behind this lawsuit are bent on using our nation’s judicial system to try and weaken working people’s ability to stand together in strong unions.

But public service workers know why it’s important to have strong unions. Despite such attacks, Saunders said, “We will never quit fighting to make our communities stronger in Washington and across the country.”