Flight Attendant Union Statement on Janus Supreme Court Decision

Washington, DC (June 27, 2018) — In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court today ruled that public sector unions cannot charge fair-share fees to non-members, citing a violation of their First Amendment right. The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA President Sara Nelson released the following statement on the decision in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31:

“The majority opinion of the Supreme Court in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31 is a blow to our freedoms as citizens of the United States. Citing Free Speech to undo decades of legal precedent that supports the freedom of working people to join together is counter to the spirit of the First Amendment and the moral fiber of our country. The fact is that without a union, employees have no voice in their workplace.

"Today's decision does not apply to labor law for Flight Attendants and other aviation workers, but the decision affects us all. Protecting free speech is essential to our democracy, and that requires a balance of powers. In the workplace, the only way working people have the right to speak up against safety and health dangers or to collectively bargain for fair wages and benefits is to join together in a union.

“Our Constitution gives voice to those who otherwise have none when standing or working alone. While the employer has rights within the workplace to curtail individual freedom of speech, workers' rights to join together is an essential balance of power if our country is to remain free. The first three words of the Constitution demands this basic workplace right. 'We the People' is inherently descriptive of the collective and the basis for which our nation escaped tyranny.

“Today's majority Court ruling is a calling to We the People to fight together for the freedom promised by our forefathers, rightfully claimed by our mothers, sisters and brothers of color, and protected with incredible sacrifice by our fallen soldiers, veterans and active service men and women.

We the People will rise up just like the teachers are doing all over our country, in opposition to the attempt to silence our individual voices by attacking our freedom to join together. We will stand together for our freedoms, our right to a safe workplace with decent pay, and respect for our hard work that contributes to our economy. We will vote, sign our union cards, and encourage Flight Attendants to talk with their family, friends, and neighbors about the importance of joining together in unions. We the People will form our ‘more perfect union.’"


The Association of Flight Attendants is the Flight Attendant union. Focused 100 percent on Flight Attendant issues, AFA has been the leader in advancing the Flight Attendant profession for 72 years. Serving as the voice for Flight Attendants in the workplace, in the aviation industry, in the media and on Capitol Hill, AFA has transformed the Flight Attendant profession by raising wages, benefits and working conditions. Nearly 50,000 Flight Attendants come together to form AFA, part of the 700,000-member strong Communications Workers of America (CWA), AFL-CIO. Visit us at www.afacwa.org.

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