First-in-the-Nation Response to Janus Prohibits State Entities from Disclosing Personal Contact Information For Public Employees to Protect Against Union-Busting
Builds on Governor Cuomo's Record of Protecting Organized Labor in Face of Federal Assault
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed an Executive Order to protect union members from harassment and intimidation, representing the first state action taken in response to the Supreme Court's Janus decision. The Executive Order prohibits State entities from disclosing personal contact information for state employees amid reports of individuals and organizations harassing union members or prospective union members. The Governor also announced that he will be advancing legislation to prohibit the disclosure of personal information for all public sector employees, including state and municipal employees.
"The Supreme Court's devastating Janus decision was advanced by billionaires and extreme conservatives who want to destroy the labor movement, and now those same forces are shamelessly trying to intimidate public employees into leaving unions," Governor Cuomo said. "In New York, we say no way, no how to union busting. New York is a union state, and as long as I am governor of the State of New York, we will do everything in our power to protect union members and ensure the labor movement continues to deliver on the promise of the American Dream."
Recent media reports indicate that certain far right groups are obtaining contact information of public employees through freedom of information policies and using the information to launch full-scale campaigns against union membership by contacting employees, in some cases at their homes, and presenting them with anti-union information to encourage them to leave their union and discourage union membership. The Janus decision has already been predicted to dramatically reduce public sector union unionization by hundreds of thousands of members.
As long as I am governor of the State of New York, we will do everything in our power to protect union members and ensure the labor movement continues to deliver on the promise of the American Dream.
"The Supreme Court's Janus decision attacks the hardworking men and women of America," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "Here in New York, we are standing up for unions and putting new rules in place to preserve and protect worker's rights. Unions are the backbone of America, and we will never stop fighting to improve the lives of families across our state. We will not allow the labor movement's strength to be undermined in New York, and we will stand with unions as we move forward."
Mario Cilento, President of the NYS AFL-CIO, said, "By ensuring this vital protection, the governor is once again showing his commitment to stand up for the rights of working men and women. We thank the governor for taking the lead on this important issue and for setting an example for every elected official throughout our country."
CSEA President Danny Donohue said, "The Janus decision seeks to take away the freedom of working people to speak up for themselves, their families and their communities. Governor Cuomo's Executive Order will protect our members from the extreme tactics of the far right and keep them safe from harassment and intimidation. I thank the Governor for taking such swift action to protect unions and for sending a clear message that New York stands with labor."
Wayne Spence, President, Public Employees Federation, said, "While the Janus decision and the rabid conservative anti-union movement threaten the very existence of unions, we are thankful that Governor Cuomo stands tall and strong with the labor movement. This EO will provide critical protections for public employees and help us defend against union busting. I thank Governor Cuomo for his unyielding support of union rights."
United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew said, “The Janus decision reflects years of scheming by forces desperate to destroy workers' rights and to undermine public education. But our union will remain strong, and we will not be silenced. Everything we have been able to accomplish for our members and our students has come from our ability to work together, and we will continue to fight for the rights of workers, their families and for public education. I want to thank Gov. Cuomo for being a strong labor ally and for standing with working men and women.”
Andy Pallotta, President, NYSUT, said, "I applaud Governor Cuomo for his steadfast dedication to the working men and women of this state in the face of a federal assault on organized labor. As the federal government tries to undermine the strength of unions, New York State stands with labor, and I look forward to continuing to work with Governor Cuomo."
The Executive Order builds on the Governor's commitment to protecting organized labor in the face of the federal government's assault on unions. In anticipation of the Supreme Court's Janus decision, Governor Cuomo signed the nation's first legislation to protect union membership in public-sector workplaces.
Since 2011, the Governor has championed efforts to support working New Yorkers, including combatting the exploitation of workers, supporting project labor agreements, and allowing full union dues to be deducted from state taxes.