On February 26, as the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments for Janus v AFSCME, working people joined together in actions throughout the nation to let the wealthy corporate interests behind Janus know that American workers will not be divided by any attack on our basic freedoms. Janus v. AFSCME is simply the latest attack by anti-worker elites using the Supreme Court to weaken collective bargaining power for workers by forcing open shop worksites. We saw this tactic back when the Supreme Court heard 2014’s Harris v Quinn. Not only did we survive the 2014 attack, we’ve thrived — with union membership growing each year.
Here in Oregon, SEIU 503 members held over 75 actions with over 1600 members participating from over 100 worksites. 503 members working for universities, state agencies, and local governments staged unity breaks and purple ups from Portland to Klamath Falls and Astoria to Enterprise – nearly every corner of the state joined together to show that no court will hold us back.
At the Capitol Mall in Salem, members of SEIU and AFSCME united for a lunchtime rally where they heard from 503 Political Director Melissa Unger, Oregon AFSCME Executive Director Stacy Chamberlain, and SEIU 503 Marion County Local President Sara Campos. February 26’s National Day of Action was launched after Sara Campos joined a small group of union activists — including SEIU 503 Statewide President Steve Demarest — for a banner drop in the Capitol Rotunda in Salem on February 14, the state of Oregon’s birthday.
“On February 26th,” said Sara after the banner drop in a Facebook post seen by thousands, “Let’s march. Let’s protest. Let’s rise up. Let’s walk out. Let’s let the rich who are trying to destroy this country know we’re drawing a line in the sand.”