Senator Cantwell Statement on Supreme Court Decision in Janus vs. AFSCME

WASHINGTON D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) released the following statement on the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Janus vs. AFSCME Council 31:

“I am disappointed with the Court’s decision today, which undermines the ability of public sector workers to bargain collectively and undoes 40 years of established law.”


The Supreme Court agreed to hear Janus vs. AFSCME Council 31 in September 2017. The decision overturned a 40-year-old precedent allowing public sector unions to collectively bargain effectively. The outcome will affect the operations of public unions, which represent state and government employees. In Washington state, the case will affect almost 300,000 workers employed in the public sector, including teachers, firefighters, police, civilian military personnel, and nurses.

Senator Cantwell will cosponsor the Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act to ensure that public sector employees across the country are able to form and join a union and enter into written contract with employers. The bill also reaffirms that it is the policy of the United States to encourage collective bargaining.