tv Washington Journal Mark Janus Jacob Huebert CSPAN June 30, 2018 3:24am-3:57am EDT
i want to introduce you to mark janice, the league lannett -- mark janus, the lead plaintiff. and your lawyer at the liberty justice center and litigation director there, and an attorney for mr. janus. tell us your story how this all came about. >> it started approximately 11 years ago when i went to work for the state, and during that hr process, nothing was said about union. there were not any cards or information about it. i got my first paycheck and there was a line that said union dues. that surprised me because i never signed up for a union. i started asking my peers, and they said everybody has to pay a fee to work here. i thought that was odd.
that is the way it is. as time went on, as years passed and i would see more money coming out of my check, and i saw some policies in the collective bargaining area that the union was taking, especially in illinois with the precarious budget situation of 150 billion pension liability unfunded and other things. i became more upset. so, i had a mutual friend who knew i was upset, but also new liberty justice, and they put us together and we brainstormed. we decided we would 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. is public, this sector only and as nothing to do with private sector. >> can you tell us how much the
unions were charging? >> it was roughly $50 per month. it was not the dollar amount that bothered me, just the concept and principle of it. i do not have a choice if i wanted to pay or not pay, or whether i wanted to join or not join. it is a fee that is mandatory, and in illinois and 22 other states, 5 million public sector workers were in similar positions. ,e have to pay to have our jobs and i did not think that was right. >> what do you do? >> child support specialist, looking at quarters and doing .ccounting type work >> for what kind of children? >> children of all aspects across illinois. i cannot be specific because it is a wide variety.
anytime there is a child support order between two parties, we have to look at it and make sure everything is right. >> 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 mr. janus's case? >> forcing people to pay union fees is forcing them to pay for advocacy.group's when a government union bargains on workers behalf, it tells the government things like how much it should pay workers, what kind andenefits it should apply, all of those are political topics. if anybody else talk to the government about those, we would recognize it as political and call it lobbying. none of us can be forced to pay a third-party to lobby the government on public policy
issues, and it is not right that people who want to take a government job should be forced to do that. >> what about the benefits? i want you both to answer. the union dues are on behalf of all government workers, and they are getting pay increases. other benefits that mr. janus would get as well. so, why should he not have to pay the fees if he gets the benefits? theot all workers want union's representation. injuredrkers are being by having the union be the representatives, and injured again by being forced to pay for it. , without a union you probably would have had your job outsourced by now. the public, including the public
a union blocked from doubling the cost of your health benefits. >> i find that interesting because i would like to know where that 17,000 is. i do not know where he got that figure. the problem is this, the collective bargaining from illinois, the union asks for collective bargaining, and they received it. not, i i wanted it or got it included. here is the other question. why does it cost all this extra money that they collect from me to bargain does it cost any more to bargain for 5000 people versus 10,000 people? isn't there a fixed cost? all you have to do is look at a
standard business model. where is this extra money going? we asked for accounting and never got it. they would give us nebulous line items. they would give us nebulous line items. you could say the money was going anywhere. that was another problem. what is the money being used for? host: are you antiunion? absolutely not. if they voluntarily want to sign up and pay the dues and get those benefits so be it. god bless. for those who choose not to why can't we have that choice on their own? i look at it the same way as someone who runs for exercise. goingave a choice of straight ahead or left at the intersection. untilt have that choice wednesday. i was mandated to pay a fee. you believe all unions are bad in the fees that they charge? guest: the problem is the
co-worship, forcing people to pay for advocacy on public policy issues they may disagree with. the first amendment never allow that. this was a unique situation where one private entity was getting co-worst funds for its advocacy. all we want is a situation were the government isn't favoring one side or the other with this. speak to steve. this is one of the most bogus stories that has come before the supreme court. i think mr. janice is no more than a mold put in place. and represented companies that have been breaking into -- breaking up unions for years. mr. janice is receiving the of safety, and good
raises. that is why companies don't want unions to bargain for these things. is bogus for him to bring up this. he doesn't even do that job anymore. to helpust put in their bust up unions. ost: you plan to return to work. guest: i will be back in the office monday. i'm not sure where he thinks he knows more than i do. you approached by outside corporate interest groups to take this? guest: absolutely not. that is another fallacy. that i am some sort of shell. i did this on my own for the 5
million public-sector workers like myself that have to pay this. i would like to have someone tell me it is not right for me to have a choice on my own. have someoneto tell me i have to do something that i may not agree with. >> i worked for a company, required to do background checks. they required us to find documents the state could collect any information they wanted to about us without notifying us. it was the equivalent to surrendering my fourth amendment to search and seizure. that my said how can the state ask you to do that to keep your job, their argument
was you are not compelled to work here. if you don't like the requirements of this job. can you tell me how this differs? guest: i can't speak to the background check situation. in constitutional law we have the idea the government can't make you give up your constitutional rights to get a benefit including the benefit of a government job. 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 firefighter or something like that. host: maryland, democrat. caller: yes. i don't understand how this case came about. it is ludicrous. it is an insult to people who
belong to unions. this man knew what he signed up for. he shouldn't deny it and he is causing havoc because everybody wants unions in this country. we need people who stand up behind them and not tear them down. to say that union dues don't matter, they matter quite a bit. they controlled the benefits and keep benefit levels stable, they keep raises stable. you can't say that funding doesn't do that. you knew what you signed up for. don't lie lie about it. host: let's have mr. janice respond. guest: when i went through the process nothing was said about a union. so that argument is false. -- a unions are surviving in this country. they will continue to survive.
they will still be able to negotiate for benefits. the federal government does not .equire these fair share fees the unions on the federal government side are thriving. they have membership. if the union has a product that is beneficial people will voluntarily sign-up. they are offering something to the workers. because they are offering a good people will flock to it and join it. that is all i am saying. let people make their own decision. union in your state conducted themselves differently when you asked the question, can i see how the money is spent do you think you would not have fought this? >> good question. i never saw the numbers. hard to say.
>> do you think if they did provide that more people would sign up? >> i believe so. i believe there would be more transparency. the president of the teachers union, on the steps of the supreme court, she said if we lose maybe we ought to do a better job at communicating with our members. struck me as interesting. shouldn't they have been doing that all along? why does it take this case to say we really need to communicate with our members .etter >> let me be clear. the supreme court is on the wrong side of history. what they did flies in the face of where america is headed, where workers want to go, where
workers need to go. it shows how out of touch they are with the real america that is out there. workers are demanding a voice. we are speaking out for a better life. demanding a fair share of the wealth we helped create. we are marching and bargaining. them toy will not allow stop us from doing our job. can stillons represent workers and advocate for the things they believe in. the only thing changing is unions can no longer force people to give them money. now workers have a choice. unions will have to earn their support. that is the only difference.
that should be in their interest and should make the unions more responsive to them. good morning. my father was a member of the unions when i was a teenager. he was in the steel industry. he used to complain about the unions. he said they want all our money. he was making a lot of money. was a veteran of world war ii. he always complained about how much they were taking from his paycheck. he had nothing to say about it. workers gotther together and went to the union and said we don't want to pay this much. , it wasy were getting not compensating for what they
were taking out for these union fees every week. the people running the unions, he is making millions. >> i would have to agree. let's face it. these national union leaders are making big money. they are criticizing me for being backed by big money? i find that interesting. host: are you backed by big money? guest: i have no idea. i am not privy to the list of donors. i have had support from all across the country. california to the east coast. all we are trying to do is give workers the right to choose for themselves. are they trying to offer a choice to workers to have a
better life, to get wages and benefits? why is it ok to advocate for that but if i want to advocate her choice in my own decision that is bad? i don't get the contrast. >> jacob hubert. who has donated? guest: we have a variety of donors who believe in our mission. we don't say who is or isn't because we respect privacy. we can't do that but we appreciate the donors. we rely on voluntary donations to do this. the unions have had to coerce money from people. >> what has this been like for you? it has been a whirlwind. we have been trying to keep our privacy as best we can.
i understand this is a national issue. .'m on the hot seat my parents taught me if you believe in something you should go for it. unionss not unlike the are doing. they go for it. we not that far apart. >> from gary, democrat. >> hello. i want to start off saying this. don't misunderstand me. i am all for unions. what you're going through is an old-fashioned pushing around. i want to refer to something you said when you mention someone duesif it were not for the the job would be outsourced by now. that does not make it right.
he does have freedom of choice. i find all of this exasperating. when i watch her program i get mad. this really burns my toast. it is unfair what is happening to you. i'm in your corner. good luck to you in your case. i hope all the fairness and justice you are due comes your way. host: -- [inaudible] guest: the decision was better than what we thought it was going to be. host: in what way? guest: there was one clause in the decision where an individual must opt in incentive opt out.
thatnk jacob can explain better than i can but that was a big win. guests: if the government is going to take money from anyone that person needs to give their affirmative consent, which means in writing. the government can't just put you in it and then put the burden on you topped out. we have that in some states and people don't understand they are in it. the court decided that is too to put onburden people. >> that was my situation. i was never given that opportunity. i was just automatically in. the money started coming out and started to flow. host: kimberly, your question? caller: good morning. unionseen in a couple over my lifetime. texas. cna in dallas,
we had $15 dues once a month. later i joined another union to give me to send benefits. -- give me decent benefits. six months after i started i still did not have health benefits. from september of 17 until acember of 17 when i left taken $880 they had out of my pay. , in i called the union rep left the job because of the union. i said what is this 4%? my pay stub is union dues. they are telling me that was to
keep the lights on. unions can help but they can also hurt. my sister works for the post office. they have a union. they have a choice. she refuses to join. they need to fix it. it is only as good as the people running it. host: let's talk about that breakdown. what was your reaction to that? speak to an't specific union situation. as far as the breakdown, a lot of times workers that have good information about that. if you were not a member you were supposed to have to pay for your share of representation but not paid for the politics. what is political and what is not political, a lot of people are frustrated they don't get
good information. a lot of people think that maybe it is going towards things that are not helpful to them. maybe now unions will attract more members by providing better information. host: illinois, independent. caller: now that this law is a collective bargaining members, between union what is going to happen now is this management now allowed to have two different pay scales? during collective darkening everyone got the same cash and benefits even if they want paying dues. now that they have a law where you don't have to be art of that is that going to allow management to have two different pay scales? other in illinois and
states with government unions there are laws on the books that say the union has to represent everybody whether they are a member or not. that means everybody gets the same deal. that is not going to change. those laws are on the books. that, unions don't like if they think it is not there, they could lobby to change those law. they lobbied to have those laws in the first place. they could do to change that so nonmembers could potentially get a different deal. i don't think they are going to lobby to change those laws. they will probably remain in that situation. theoretically it could change. host: if you were to get a raise, what will you do? uest: i have not thought that far and it rants. a lot of this has to be determined.
governor didu the sign an executive order issued wednesday in the state of illinois that said if you are a fair share member those dues and fees will not have to come out anymore. that was pretty immediate. there is a lot of this we have to look at. we still have to decide how that is going to shake out host: read host: will you feel torn -- shakeout. host: will you feel torn? guest: i probably will. i negotiated my own benefits. i understood what management went through, and what the state is going through. the state of illinois is in bad shape. the fact that as a taxpayer we just got a 32% income tax
increase a year ago, what i found interesting, during contract negotiations they were lobbying, in the streets protesting for better wages. they were saying we need to protect the middle class. how does a 32% income tax increase healthy middle class when that is going to have to go to increase wages and benefits? i have been happy to stay with the status well and not have to get the increase. at some point this is going to catch up to us all as far as budget and what we have to pay. host: mike, independent. caller: the previous caller stole my thunder. i was wondering if this man doesn't want to pay his union dues, petitions the court to strip him of all his benefits and wages, when he says he did
not know he had to join a union when he hired onto the government, that is ridiculous. his gray hair and is starting to bald. a new. can the answer -- did he petitioned the court to strip him and get rid of his wages and benefits that he got associated with the union. guest: that free right argument has been bandied about ever since we started the case. the point that i make is that i believe the union has been free on us. -- riding they have been collecting these fees for years and years using it for a variety of reasons. some good, some bad.
i don't find that that is an argument. i would like to know how many people out there if they were forced to make a purchase in a store but in order to make that purchase you had to join a group and pay a fee to make that purchase which is similar, i would like to have the wood feel about that -- how they would feel about that. call,nk you for taking my and it comes to unions, one woman spoke about the postal union. i was a member. ofs comes about the cousin poor union leadership. they don't make convenient hours to come to general meetings. every time we get a raise, they raise our dues. if you are not supporting the leadership, there is a chance that you will not get
represented or not it represented will -- well. this came about because of poor leadership. why should he have to pay dues for nothing and get nothing? they get ahip, pension from the union. they do not get a pension from the union. they get it from the post office. were winning elections by acclamation. i put up three tickets and was given a death threat and told i was going to be killed. the government was informed and they did nothing. they buried the case. from what a far cry they used to be in our country. they used to stick up for the workers. they had apprenticeship programs for you have people who performed the job well. you,i'm going to tell
there is a tremendous not of people that do not earn their day and that starts at the top. host: what is your thoughts? have: unions are going to to become more transparent and answer to membership. they are going to have to produce a product, if you want to call it that that is going to entice people to join the union and offer something just like somebody that manufactures a dishwasher or automobile, as to why you should live that product. i think that is going to be the major been it. it is going to strengthen the unions. there will be that transparency. there will be that rethinking of what they do and how they do it and i think that is going to strength in the unions. host: could you see yourself
joining a union? i possibly could. prove it to me, if you will. i can't quickly say one way or the other. host: for you wondering if there were other legal challenges? guest: it is possible. there trying to make it harder for people to get out of the union. the union wants to keep as much of this money going as possible. they are giving work or's a narrow window of time every year in which they can quit and stop having dues coming out, where they are giving unions exclusive access to push union membership on the muallem not letting them here in the voices, people who would want to give them an alternate view. these things could lead to other legal challenges to ensure workers are actually able to make a free informed choice about whether they were want to be a union member. hopefully it will not take much. hopefully they will respect this
decision over others -- and workers will be able to make the decision. host: thank you for your being here as well. democratic lawmakers held a meeting this week to discuss the sip rim court ruling. -- the supreme court ruling. among the speakers, chuck schumer a nancy pelosi and richard trumka. from capitol hill, this is 40 minutes. [inaudible] [inaudible]