June 4, 2018

DeLeo: Unions should be protected barring SCOTUS ruling

Photo | State House News Service
House Speaker Robert DeLeo

Addressing a convention of Democrats in Worcester on Saturday morning, House Speaker Robert DeLeo said the House is ready to act if the U.S. Supreme Court deals a blow to labor unions in a closely-watched case.

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in February in the case Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, which plaintiffs hope will give workers the ability to opt out of public sector union agency fees. The case challenges compulsory payment of union fees for public sector employees, regardless of whether they belong to the union.

Unions say the case is driven by wealthy corporate interests and aims to limit the power of unions.

At the Democratic Party's convention on Saturday, DeLeo told the hall of roughly 6,000 Democrats that the Massachusetts House is prepared to move quickly to make sure "unions can remain strong."

The Supreme Court is expected to issue its ruling in Janus this month.

DeLeo also called on Democrats to rally behind a law passed last year protecting the rights of transgender people to use the public facility of their choosing. A ballot question pushed by the Massachusetts Family Institute to repeal that law will go before voters in November, and DeLeo called on the party Saturday to turn away that repeal effort.

"We can't allow that to happen," DeLeo said of the repeal. "We can't go backawards."

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