Episode 9: The Post Janus Aftermath: Mackinac Connections
In this episode, Episode 9, we speak with UTL President and AFT-MA Vice President Paul Georges about Union solidarity after the Janus case was announced at the end of June.
To review, the Janus Case came before the Supreme Court and, in a 5-4 decision announced during the last week of the Court’s 2017-18 session, it was ruled that public sector unions would no longer be able to charge “agency fees”. Not sure what agency fees are? Take a listen to our Episode 2 where Paul lays out the history of court challenges to public sector unions. [NOTE: Episode 2 was recorded prior to the Supreme Court's Janus vs. AFSCME decision being made public.]
In the hours following the Supreme Court’s announcement, a suspect email blast went out to teachers' union members in several strong public sector union states, including Massachusetts and targeting United Teachers of Lowell members here in Lowell. “My Pay, My Say” as the campaign is branded is one of several nation-wide efforts to dismantle public sector unions. Operating under Michigan’s Mackinac Center, a right-wing “think tank” based in Midland Michigan, the campaign has deep pockets. Sourcewatch.Org lists the funders behind Mackinac, and yes, there are some familiar names there.
Which leaves us with this query: Why would a Michigan group be interested in Massachusetts public sector unions? Good question!
For More Information
In Episode 2, as mentioned above, Paul breaks down the history of the Janus case and the cases that came before it. Link to Episode 2 of our podcasts here. AFT has published more detail about the Janus vs AFSCME case on its website.
The Mackinac Center has been extensively reported on by Sourcewatch.org. Link to Sourcewatch's informative posting about the Mackinac Center and its funding sources here. See also Massachusetts Teachers Organization's one page fact sheet on the email blast that Mackinac Center sent to individual's email accounts.
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