Maine's largest unions are condemning a U.S. Supreme Court decision Wednesday that's widely regarded as a blow to collective bargaining and union power.
In Janus v. AFSCME, the court ruled that public employees can't be forced to pay fees to labor unions that represent them in collective bargaining.
The Maine AFL-CIO and the Maine State Employees Association both issued statements saying they'll continue fighting for workers, despite the ruling.
"It doesn't stop us from communicating," says MSEA President Ramona Welton. "It does not stop people who are like-minded to join in unions to fight for things that they feel are right. More so now than ever before if you feel strongly about something you cannot wait for the other guy to do something."
Welton says her union anticipated the ruling when negotiating the state contract last year, where mandatory union fees were traded in favor of wage increases.
"We have been in a preparation mode, understanding that ultra-conservative groups are attacking labor unions and the voice of workers and working families across this country," she says.