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STATEMENT: Supreme Court’s Janus Decision Limits Ability of Workers to Bargain for Fair Wages and Costs Them a Voice on the Job, Says CAP’s Neera Tanden

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Supreme Court issued a 5-4 opinion in Janus v. AFSCME that harms the freedom of public sector workers to come together in strong unions. Neera Tanden, president and CEO of  the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:

Today’s decision limits the power of millions of hard-working Americans to come together in strong unions to bargain over fair wages, decent benefits, and a voice on the job. The ruling affects all working people—regardless of union membership—since strong unions help boost equality and build our nation’s middle class. Weakening collective bargaining will almost certainly mean smaller paychecks for many working Americans—as has been the case with Wisconsin’s teachers.

Make no mistake: Corporate lobbyists backed this case as part of decades-long attack on unions and the bargaining power of American workers. Yet support for unions is on the rise: The widespread teacher strikes taking place across the country show that everyday Americans, in red states and blue states alike, are ready to stand up for fair pay and decent work.

Pro-worker activists and policymakers should fight for reforms to ensure that government is on the side of workers. Replicating existing policies that support public sector organizing rights and thinking boldly about new models to support union workers will help ensure greater equality, higher wages, and stronger communities.

For more information or to speak with an expert, contact Allison Preiss at or 202.478.6331.