American Federation of Teachers on Supreme Court Ruling in Epic Systems v. Lewis

WASHINGTON–In response to today’s Supreme Court ruling that companies can force workers into arbitration to prevent them from pursuing class actions against their employers, AFT President Randi Weingarten issued the following statement:

“The court’s shameful attack on these fundamental rights is just another blatant attempt to strip power away from working people. Class actions, like unions, create economic power for workers. This decision is a radical interpretation of the statute in favor of corporations and the wealthy. The majority has ignored any pretense of fairly interpreting the law of the land as it applies to worker power.

“This decision tries to shut the legal door at the very time workers are trying to open it—speaking out for more respect, and standing up against abuse and sexual harassment. This ruling will curb workers’ ability to take collective legal action when they’re harassed, when they’re discriminated against, or when their wages are stolen.

“The majority knows that by joining together, workers can achieve collectively what would be impossible for them acting alone. That’s why they decided to attack, rather than protect, workers’ rights. Today’s ruling underlines the vital importance of collective bargaining and unions to advancing workers’ economic and political power, which this decision thankfully does not curtail.”

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