Skip to main content

tv   Washington Journal Mark Janus Jacob Huebert  CSPAN  June 29, 2018 3:12pm-3:47pm EDT

3:12 pm
marc: as the process moves forward, the senate is staying throughout august and will have an opportunity for the candidate to meet with judiciary members individually. hopefully this will happen over the course of the summer and then by the time we come back on labor day, there is scheduling we can work on so the nominee can be there when the session starts. afternoon,p this supreme court chief justice john roberts sits down for an interview at the federal judicial conference of the fourth circuit. we will be live from sulfur springs, west virginia 3:30 pm eastern here on c-span. find streaming live on or on the free c-span radio app. next, a look at the supreme afscme, onjanus v. "washington journal. thank you for being here.
3:13 pm
bert of lawyer, jacob hue the liberty justice center. let me begin with you, mr. janus , tell us your story about how all this came about. mr. janus: it started approximately 11 years ago when i went to work for the state. during the process, nothing was said about a union. there weren't any cards or iformation about it read and got my first paycheck and here is line item that says union dues. and it surprised me because i never signed up for a union, so i started asking my peers and they said, yes, everybody has to pay a fee to work here. i just thought that was very odd but ok, that's the way it is. as time went on and as the years passed, i began to see more money coming out of my check, and i saw some of the policies
3:14 pm
and positions in the collective bargaining area that the union was taking, especially in illinois with their very precarious budget situation, they had $150 billion in pension liability that is unfunded, and other things, and i became more and more upset. so i had a mutual friend a new i was upset, but also new liberty justice and they put the two of us together and we brainstormed and decided we were going to try to do something about it. as of wednesday, we got our final decision. the court ruled with you on this that states cannot have mandatory union fees for public-sector unions. mr. janus: correct. this is public sector only. it has nothing to do with private-sector law. host: can you tell us how much the unions were charging? janus: it was roughly $50 a month. and it wasn't the dollar amount
3:15 pm
that bothered me, it was the concept and principal of it that i didn't have a choice as to whether i wanted to pay or not pay, or whether or wanted to join or not join the read it's just a fee that is mandatory. and in the state of illinois and got 5er states we've million public-sector workers that are in very similar , and we havet i am to pay in order to have our jobs. i didn't think that was right. i'm a child support specialist i basically work on looking at court orders and do accounting type work to make sure that our records match what it should become, based on what the court order says. post -- from what type of children? children from across the state of illinois. anytime there is a child support order between two parties we have to account for it, look at
3:16 pm
it and make sure everything is right. host: let's go to the legal side of this. when the liberty justice center took this on, on what legal grounds were you going to argue .he case forcing -- mr. huebert: forcing or grouped they union fees is forcing a group to adopt the political views of the union. it tells them how they should run programs, and all of them are political topics. if anybody else talks to the government about those things, we would all recognize that is political and we would call it lobbying. none of us can be forced to pay a third party to lobby the government on public policy issues, and it's not right that people who want to take a government job should be forced to do that. host: what about the benefits. i want you both to answer this.
3:17 pm
the union argues on behalf of and theynment workers, are getting pay increases, let's say. janiceenefits that mr. would get as well. why shouldn't he have to pay the fee if he is going to get the benefit? all workers not actually want the union's representation and considerate to be a benefit. some workers would rather represent themselves but can't, so those workers are being injured by having the union be their representative. that they are being injured again by being forced to pay for it. janus, donnie kaelin wrote a piece who said, i work with mr. janus and without a union his job would be outsourced by now. he says mr. janus has received $17,000 in union negotiated raises. the public that he serves has access to resources because our union has fought to defend.
3:18 pm
our union blocked the employer from doubling the cost of mr. janus' health benefits. mr. janus: i find that interesting because i would like to know where that $17,000 is. the collective bargaining in illinois, the union asked for collective bargaining, they asked for that all-inclusive and they received it. and whether i wanted it or not, they asked for it, they got it, i got included in it. here is the other question. why does it cost all this extra money that they collect from me you have a when bargaining committee of, let's say 10 people? anymorea cost the union to bargain for 500 5000 people versus 10 people is there any additional cost. all you have to do is look at a standard business model. where is that extra money going? give us nebulous line
3:19 pm
items that were so vague that this money could be going almost anywhere. that was another problem i had, where is this money going and what is it being used for? host: are you antiunion? absolutely not. if somebody was to voluntarily join the union and sign up and pay the dues and get those benefits, then so be it got bless them. but for those of us who choose not to, why can't we have that choice on our own? at the same way as somebody who goes out and runs for exercise. they are running down the street and they have a choice of going straight ahead or left or right at the intersection. i don't have that choice, and until wednesday hour was mandated to pay a fee whether i wanted to or not. host: does the liberty justice center believe all unions are bad, in the fees that they charge? mr. huebert: no, the problem here is the kohler's in. it is forcing people to pay for advocacy on public policy issues
3:20 pm
that they might disagree with. the first amendment never allow that. this was an unusual situation, a unique situation where one type of private entity was getting coerced funds for its advocacy, and all we want is a situation where the government isn't favoring one side or the other with this kind of subsidy. host: lets your what viewers have to say. we will go to steve who is in indianapolis, a democrat. caller: this is one of the most bogus stories that has come before the supreme court. i think mr. janus is no more than a mole that has been put into place and represented companies that have been, and republicans that have been breaking up unions for years, mr. janus is receiving the safety and pensions and good raises.
3:21 pm
that's why companies don't want unions to bargain for these things. and this is just bogus for him to even bring up this. he doesn't even do that job anymore. he is not going to be doing this job anymore. he was just put in their to help bust up unions. host: let's get a reaction to that. mr. janus, you plan to return to work, right? mr. janus: i'm going back to work monday. i will be in the office of my usual time, doing my usual job. i'm not sure where he thinks he knows what i'm going to be doing on monday when i go back to work. host: were you approached by any outside corporate interest groups to take this on? mr. janus: absolutely not. that's another fallacy that it think the union has been putting out there, that i am some type upon or she'll -- type of paul shill i did. this
3:22 pm
onbehalf of workers in 22 states who have to pay this fee. i would like to tell somebody that i have to do something that i may not agree with. host: wheeling, west virginia, independent. caller: i was a nonunion worker but we were required to do a background check for the state lottery. and they required us to sign documents that the state could collect basically, any information that they wanted to about us without notifying us. so to me it was equivalent to surrendering my fourth amendment, search and seizure. and i saidd that, how can the state ask you to do that in order to keep your job? you had to have a license to keep the job. and their argument was that you are not compelled to work here, you are free to go to another place for employment if you
3:23 pm
don't like the requirements of this job. so please tell me legally how this differs? speakebert: i can't specifically to the background check situation, but in constitutional law we have the idea that the government can't make you give up your constitutional rights to get a benefit including the of a government job. and that is key to the issue in our case, that you shouldn't have to give up your first amendment right to choose what associations you will and won't support with your money, just because you want to work as a child support specialist, a specialist, a public school teacher, a firefighter, or something like that. host: marilyn and brook park, ohio, a democrat. caller: i don't understand how this case came about. it's completely ludicrous. it's an insult to all people who belong to unions. unions are all about collective bargaining. this menu what he signed up for. he shouldn't deny it, and he is
3:24 pm
causing a lot of havoc in this country, because everybody wants unions in this country. we need to have people that stand up behind them and not tear them down. and trying to say the union dues don't matter, they matter quite a bit, for the fact that they control the benefits, they keep people's benefit levels stable, they keep raises stable. you can't say funding doesn't do that. you try to use this as an argument saying, i don't want to be part of it. you knew what you signed up for, sir, please don't lie about it. you are using this law. host: let's let mr. janus respond. throughs: when i went the hr process on my first day of work, nothing was said about a union so that argument is false. number two, unions are surviving in this country. unions will continue to survive. collective bargaining will still go on. it will still be able to benefits,for wages, etc.. and let's look at the federal
3:25 pm
government. the federal government does not require the stair-share fees, and the unions on the federal government side are thriving. they are doing fine. they have membership. producthe union has a that is beneficial to individuals, then people will voluntarily sign up and join the union, because they are offering something to the workers. and because they are offering a good product, if you will, whether it be a dishwasher or automobile, people will flock to it and they will join it. that is all i am saying, let people make their own decision. in your caseunion had conducted themselves differently when you asked the questions, can i see how the money is spent, you think you would not have fought this? mr. janus: that is a good question, but i never saw the numbers, so it is hard to say. host: do you think of the union did provide that, that more people who had your opinion would sign up? mr. janus: i think so because
3:26 pm
there would be more transparency. randi weingarten, the president of the teachers union, on the steps of the supreme court on the dates of the oral argument, she said if we lose, maybe we ought to do a better job of communicating with our members. and that struck me as very interesting, because, shouldn't they have been doing that all along? case forit take this the unions to wake up and say, we need to communicate with our members better? the reaction of afl-cio president richard trump ka. the supreme clear, court is on the wrong side of history. in the faced flies of where america is headed, where workers want to go and where workers need to go. and it shows exactly how out of touch they are with the real
3:27 pm
america that is out there. no janus, workers are demanding a voice. we are standing up and speaking out for a better life. we are demanding a fair share of the wealth that we helped create. we are marching and we are organizing and we are bargaining, and we simply will not allow a corporate-controlled supreme court to stop us from doing our job. host: jacob, your reaction. mr. huebert: no one is trying to stop unions from doing their jobs. unions can still represent workers, can still advocate for things they believe in. the only thing that is changing is that unions can no longer force people to give them money. now, workers have a choice and unions will have to earn their support instead of taking it for granted. that is the only difference, and that should be in workers' interest to give them a choice, and it should make the unions more responsive. host: let's hear from marcia and
3:28 pm
chicago, a republican. marcia, good morning. my father was a member of the union when i was a teenager, he was in the steel industry. always complaining about the unions. he said they want all our money, and i remember my father was making a lot of money. i'm a black american, and he was andteran of world war ii, he always complained about how much they were and he always complained about how much they were taking from his weekly paycheck, and he had nothing to say about it. he and a lot of the other workers got together and went to the union and said, we don't want to pay this much, we can't afford it, is what they were were notn the wages compensating for what they were taking out for these union fees every week. say, iust wanted to
3:29 pm
think the people who are running the unions, the afl-cio man is making millions. he is making millions. host: mr. janus, what is your reaction? mr. janus: i would have to agree. let's face it, a lot of these national union leaders are making big money, and they are criticizing me for being backed by big money? i find that very interesting. host: are you backed by big money? idea,nus: i have no because i am not privy to the list of donors. i know it is a collective area. i have had support from all across the country, california all the way to the east coast, and all we are trying to do is give workers the right to choose for themselves. and isn't that what unions are o, aren't theyto trying to give workers a better choice with wages and benefits and the like?
3:30 pm
why's it ok for the union to advocate for that, but if i want to advocate for choice in my own condition, that's bad. i don't get the contrast there. i don't understand. host: jacob, who has donated to mr. janus' cost? mr. huebert: liberty has a variety of donors from across the country, but we don't say who is or isn't a donor because we respect their privacy and want to protect it. once you start saying who is or isn't, the privacy goes away. so he do that, but we preach the owners -- but we appreciate the donors who made this possible, as opposed to the union to had to coerce people. been like that what has this been like for you, mr. janus? a. janus: it has been whirlwind. we've been trying to keep my privacy as best we can but i understand this is a national issue. i fully understand i am on the hot seat, if you will. me that ifnts taught
3:31 pm
you believe in something, you should go for it and carry it to which is not unlike what the unions are doing. if they believe in a particular position, then they go for it. so we are not that far apart, we really aren't. let's hear from gary and connor bill, indiana, a democrat. caller: hello. i want to start off by saying this, and don't misunderstand me here. i am all for unions under the right circumstances, but mr. are goingt you through is an old-fashioned pushing around. i think it is asinine. and a want to refer something you said a little bit ago when his job would be outsourced by now if it wasn't for the dues. that isn't right. he does have freedom of choice, ebert said.
3:32 pm
i find all this exasperating. every once in a while when i watch her program, i get mad and this really burns my toast really bad. mr. janus, it's unfair what is happening to you. i'm in your corner. this kind of thing ought to draw some picket line people, man. good luck to you in your case and i hope you get all the fairness and justice that you are due. thank you. host: it did on monday. mr. janus: thank you. it did go that way, and the decision was much better than what we actually thought it was going to be. host: in what way? mr. janus: there was the one clause in the decision where now, an individual must declaratively opt in to a union, instead of the opt out. i think jacob could explain that better than i can, but that was a big win. host: go ahead. court just said
3:33 pm
that if the government is going to take money from anybody for union, that person needs to give affirmative assent clearly, which probably means in writing you have to say a want to give money to the union or i want to be a union member. the government can't just put you in it and put the burden on you to opt out, because you have that in some states like california. people don't understand they are in it, people don't understand how they can get out of it, and the court decided that was too much of a burden to put on people just to exercise their first amendment rights. of mynus: and it was kind situation. i was never given the opportunity to opt in, i was just automatically, as soon as i signed the paperwork, and is the money started to come out the money started to flow. host: washington, pennsylvania, kimberly, a republican. caller: good morning, everybody. i've been in a couple of unions in my lifetime. i'm in my middle 50's. i was in dallas, texas, in 1982 when i was in the health field. we had $15 dues once a month,
3:34 pm
and that was it. now, 30 some years later, i joined another union that was supposed to give mediation benefits and after 360 hours i would have health benefits and all that, and i got the run around. six months after i started with this business i still than have any health benefits. my point is, from september 2017 until december of 2017, when i left a decent job without a union and joined this one thinking i was going to get better ahead, they had taken $880 out of my pay. when i called the union rep who i have never met in the six months i was there, i left the job because of the union, but when i called of the union rep and asked what was this for, because they take this union dues and then they take this 4%, my paystub is union dues, and they are telling me that is just to keep the lights on. i know unions can help but they
3:35 pm
can also hurt. my sister works for the post office and they have a union. she is refusing to join. they have a choice but to refuses to join because of all that goes with it. they need to fix it. it is only as good as the people running it. host: what was your reaction to that? mr. janus: i can't speak to situations, but as far as the breakdown on what unions spend money on, as marc earlier, a lot of times workers don't have good information on that. and if you were not a member you were supposed to have to pay for your share of representation but not pay for the union politics. but what is political and what is not political, they wouldn't give you good breakdown of that. a lot of people are frustrated that they don't get good information about the union and what it is doing with their money. as a result a lot of people think it is going towards things that aren't helpful to them.
3:36 pm
maybe now, unions will provide better information as partners attracting more it members, which they need to do now in the public sector. caller: good morning. my question is, now that this collectivesed, as a bargaining agreement between management and the employees of the union, if you are saying now that you don't have to join that union, what is going to happen does management now have two different pay scales? because during collective bargaining, the way it stood now is that everyone got the same cache, the same benefits, even if they weren't paying union dues. now that they have passed a law that says you don't have to be part of that, is that going to allow management to set up two different pay scales? mr. huebert: in illinois and other states with government on the there are laws books that say the union has to represent everybody whether they
3:37 pm
are a member or not. and that is so generally of her but he gets the same deal. that's not going to change. those laws are on the books and this supreme court decision didn't change that. if the unions think it is not fair that they have to represent nonmembers, they can lobby to change those laws. they lobbied to have those laws in the first place, that they wanted to represent everybody, and if they want to represent don't, they can change that in nonmembers could potentially get a different deal. but i don't think they are going to lobby to change those laws you read they will probably remain in that situation, but theoretically it could change and that would be fine with us. if you work to get a raise because the union negotiated it, what would you do? mr. janus: good question. i haven't thought that far in advance yet. we are only in date three and a lot of this still has to be determined, it still has to come down. can tell you the governor did sign an executive order which
3:38 pm
thatssued on wednesday says if you are only a fair-share member those fees won't have to come out anymore. that was pretty immediate. but i think there is still a lot of us that we have to look at on the decision, and we have to decide how that is all going to shake out. will you be torn taking a raise that the union negotiates? mr. janus: yes, i probably will. in the past come in the private sector i negotiated my own wages with management. and i understood what management went through, and i also understand what the state is going through. the state of illinois in bad shape. that come as a taxpayer, we just got a 32% income tax increase a year ago. and what i found interesting was that, during contract negotiations they were out
3:39 pm
lobbying and in the streets protesting for better wages and werer benefits, and they saying we need to protect the middle class. my question is, how does a 32% income tax increase help the middle class, when that is going to have to go to increased wages and benefits? i had been very happy to stay with the status quo and not get the increase because i am realistic, and understand that at some point this is going to catch up to us all. host: mike, independent. caller: the previous caller stole my thunder. i was going to say that this guy doesn't want to pay his union dues, obviously, and petitioned the court to strip him of all his benefits and wages associated with being involved in a union. and when he says he didn't know he had been joined union when he hired on with the government, he's got great care and he is
3:40 pm
starting to bald, he is ridiculous. everybody knows that. i just see him as a guy that wants a free ride on the back of the union to get all the wages and benefits that he doesn't have to pay for. did he petitioned the court to strip him and get rid of his wages and benefits that he got by being associated with the union? that is all. mr. janus: that free ride argument has been bandied about ever since we started this case. and the point that i make is that i believe the union has on riding there is 4 million workers out there where they have been collecting these fees for years and years, and they have been riding on us, taking our money and using it for a variety of reasons, some good and some bad. really, i don't find that as an argument. i would like to know how many people out there, if they were forced to make a purchase in a
3:41 pm
and in order to make that purchase that you had to join a group and pay a fee to make that purchase, which is a somewhat similar. i would like to know how they would feel about that. fred is in pennsylvania, independent. caller: thank you for taking my call. when it comes to unions, specifically one lady spoke about the postal union. i was a member of the national association of letter carriers, and this comes about i think because of really poor union leadership. they don't make convenient hours for the members to come to general meetings. every time we get a raise they raise our dues. of the in not part crowd and supporting the leadership, there is a chance you won't get represented or will not get represented well in a grievance. because ofame about port union leadership.
3:42 pm
as the gentleman says, why should he have to pay dues for nothing, get nothing? the leadership of the national association of letter carriers, they get a pension from the union. the members don't get no pension from the union, they get it from the post office. and they were so bad at one they were winning elections by acclimation. i put up three tickets against them and i was given a death threat and told i was going to be killed. and the government was informed of it and they did nothing. they buried the case. this is because unions are a far cry from what they used to be in our country. the used a stick up for the workers, nature everybody was on board, they had apprenticeship programs where you had people who performed the job well. now, if you look at the post office, i am going to tell you is aperience, there tremendous amount of people that don't turn their pay, and that starts at the top. host: i'm going to leave it
3:43 pm
there, fred. mark janis, what are your thoughts? thejanus: if anything, unions are going to have to be more transparent. they are going to have to answer to the membership. they are going to have to produce a product, if you will, if you want to call it that, that is going to entice people to join the union. and they are going to have to offer something, just like somebody that manufactures a dishwasher or an automobile or any other product, as to why you should buy that product. and i think that is going to be the major benefit. i also feel that it is actually going to strengthen the unions, because there will become that transparency, there will become that rethinking of what they do and how they do it, and i think that is going to strengthen the unions greatly. host: could you see yourself joining a union one day? i possibly could, but let's see what they do first. prove it to me, if you will.
3:44 pm
i can't equivocally say one way or another. jacob, are more legal challenges against unions coming? mr. huebert: it's possible. in some states, unions are making moves with state governments to make it hard for people to get out of the unit, because the union wants to keep as much of this money going as possible. so they are doing things like giving workers a very narrow window of time every year during which they could quit and stop having dues come out. they are doing things where they are giving unions exclusive access to workers to push union membership on them, while not letting them here other voices and putting barriers in the way of others who want to give an alternate view. these things lead to other legal challenges, to ensure workers are able to make a free and informed choice about whether they want to be union members but we will see, hopefully won't take too much. hopefully all states and all unions will respect this decision and workers will be free to choose. jacob is the attorney for
3:45 pm
janus, illinois child support specialist and lead plaintiff. thank you. mr. janus: thank you for having me. we are having technical difficulties in our signal with our conversation with supreme -- wechief justice john spoke this week on newsmakers to about defense policy, spending and national security issues. 10:00kers is sunday at a.m. and 6:00 p.m. eastern here on c-span. thorst selling author brad sunday atr guest live noon eastern. "spy master".k,
3:46 pm
thor, ourith brad special series, in-depth fiction , live from noon until three clock p.m. eastern on book tv on c-span2. president trump spoke today, on the six-month anniversary of his tax cuts and jobs legislation. he expressed condolences to the families of those killed at "the capital gazette" shooting yesterday in annapolis, maryland.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on