An Assault On Our Rights

Channel 3's Susan Raff interviews Sgt. David Orr, president of the Norwalk Police Union, AFSCME Local 1727.

Workers across the country are speaking out to protect their voice on the job and protest the ongoing attacks against working families from wealthy special interest groups.

The latest broadside is a U.S. Supreme Court case called Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association that could harm workers’ ability to have a voice on the job. The case has generated support for workers from various quarters, from states’ attorneys to editorial writers.

The stakes in this case are high, points out Norwalk Police Sgt. David Orr, President of AFSCME Local 1727.

"Four of every five police officers sustain injuries on the job at some point during their career. A strong voice at work is necessary to advocate for those who put themselves in harm's way. That voice gives officers the peace of mind that someone is speaking up for them and their families when they get hurt."

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Friedrichs case in January. Efforts to expose the case's threats to all working people included an effort by union members to deliver more than 100,000 petition signatures to the Washington, D.C. headquarters of Center for Individual Rights (CIR), one of the special interests behind the lawsuit.

Policy experts and economists like Lawrence Mishel, president of the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) has warned that an anti-worker ruling would jeopardize unions' ability to solve some of society's toughest problems.

Mishel said that weakened public sector unions would undercut our ability to address two great inequalities: the large share of income accruing to the very top of society, and the inequality in political voice that working Americans now suffer.

The bottom line: Everyone who works should be able to make ends meet, have a say about their futures, and have the right to negotiate together for better wages and benefits that can sustain their family. Friedrichs v CTA is a grave threat to that right.

Click here for the American Works Together website to understand the threat, and to learn how working people are standing up and fighting back.