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No politician running for office today would openly advocate for more wealth inequality in our country, where the richest 1 percent of the population owns 40 percent of the wealth. Even candidate Donald Trump in 2016 promised to stand up for the “forgotten men and women of our country,” who feel betrayed by a rigged economic system that benefits a small minority at their expense. Yet every single day, President Trump and congressional leaders seem determined to do more to increase wealth inequality than to alleviate it; do more for corporations and the wealthy than for single parents working two or three jobs to make ends meet.

Like others around the world, I mourned the death last week of Aretha Franklin. The Queen of Soul set a new standard for enduring classic songs with both artistic and political impact, like her mega-hit “Respect,” which became an anthem for both the civil rights and women’s movements.

And that song is on my mind as we embark on a week of action dedicated to shining light on the stakes for women in the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

On August 16, 2018, AFSCME Council 63 notified the State of New Jersey that the state contract was overwhelmingly ratified by the AFSCME membership.

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Just days after the Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Janus v. AFSCME, Mike Messner and his executive board set out on a mission to increase their union membership.

Messner, the president of Local 888 Rutgers University, and executive board member Jodi Virgilio have since turned in more than 6 dozen new member signups in the month following the decision.

The Janus decision allows public employees to stop paying partial union dues, while still being covered under the union-negotiated contract, if they don’t want to be a member of the union. 

The Janus case was an attempt to deliver a knockout blow to millions of working people and their families who looked to the Supreme Court as an independent institution that advances equal rights and fundamental freedoms for all.

AFSCME International answers your questions about the impact of the anti-worker U.S. Supreme Court ruling:

On June 27, the U.S. Supreme Court released its decision in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31, overruling Abood and holding that compulsory fair share arrangements in the public sector violate the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Justice Alito wrote the majority opinion which was joined by Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Kennedy, Thomas and Gorsuch.