WASHINGTON, D.C. OCT. 5, 2015: The threat to working Americans posed by a conservative majority on the Supreme Court is the topic of The Right to Unite, a new short documentary released today by Alliance for Justice. The documentary is narrated by Emmy-award winning actor Bradley Whitford.
“Corporate interests have been using the Court’s majority, led by Justice Samuel Alito, to chip away at the rights of working people to organize and bargain collectively for better wages and working conditions,” said AFJ President Nan Aron. “In the term that starts today, the justices will hear Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, a case that could undermine the rights of all public employees to organize in effective unions – and that could lower the standard of living for all working Americans.”
The case is the culmination of decades of work by powerful corporate interests. They’ve been working to reshape our judiciary (especially the Supreme Court) into one that would reinforce and deepen inequality rather than remedy it.
As a strong counterweight promoting equality and opportunity, the labor movement has been fighting back. That has put it in the cross-hairs of these corporate interests who want more for the top one percent at the expense of everyone else.
The 2014 case Harris v. Quinn demonstrates what’s at stake. The case was, in effect, a prelude to the Friedrichs case. It concerned home care providers, who saw their benefits, training, and wages increase dramatically after coming together as a union. That improved the quality of care for the vulnerable Americans they serve. But the conservative Supreme Court majority limited these workers’ ability to join together and have a voice in their workplace.
Through the stories of two home care providers, Lidia Rodriguez and Alantris Muhammad, and with expert commentary from Prof. Dorian Warren, a Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, The Right to Unite shows us what the lives of these care providers are like, what their unions mean to them, and why their fight is our fight.
Alliance for Justice, www.afj.org believes that all Americans have the right to secure justice in the courts and to have their voices heard when government makes decisions that affect their lives. We are a national association of over 100 organizations, representing a broad array of groups committed to progressive values and the creation of an equitable, just, and free society. Through our justice programs, we lead the progressive community in the fight for a fair judiciary, and through our advocacy programs, we help nonprofits and foundations to realize their advocacy potential.