Americans for Fair Treatment Director Keith Williams has an encouraging editorial at TribLive.com about the importance of principled courage—even when you’re in the minority.
He tells the story of how three Greensburg employees—Megan James, William Lester, and Angela Pease—had their post-Janus union resignations rejected by SEIU Local 668. Keith writes:
According to the union, members could leave the union only during the 15-day window defined in their multiyear collective bargaining agreement. This rule, called “maintenance of membership,” is authorized in state law and appears in most public-sector employment contracts. It traps thousands of government workers in unions across Pennsylvania.
At this point, James, Lester and Pease could have given in and paid hundreds of dollars in union dues for another year. Instead, they stepped out of their comfort zones and fought for the rights the Supreme Court restored to them.
They contacted public-interest law firm the Fairness Center and filed a class-action lawsuit in January on behalf of themselves and 9,000 other SEIU Local 668 members for the right to leave the union at any time. Though the wheels of justice turn slowly, they’ve already won a major victory. Because of pressure brought by the lawsuit, in June, the union agreed to stop enforcing resignation restrictions.
In June on this blog, we documented the huge win and impact that the Greensburg trio won for themselves and their state employee colleagues. And all this came simply from having the courage to fight back. You can read Keith’s entire article here.