In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Monday hearing on Janus v. AFSCME that could strike down mandatory union dues and fees for government employees all over the country, many in the national media turned to the Freedom Foundation for comment.
The Freedom Foundation authored two amicus briefs in support of Mark Janus. Both were referenced in the Janus legal team’s brief and is a key part of their argument.
Freedom Foundation Chief Litigation Counsel David Dewhirst was on hand to attend the hearing and provide the media with expert analysis on the ramifications of the case as well as share the Freedom Foundation’s experience in freeing workers from union tyranny on the west coast.
Here’s a sample of the stories, radio interviews and quotes.
Freedom Foundation a National Leader on Janus v. AFSCME Case
“While the unions intensify their communications with workers, they’re also trying to ensure that workers don’t hear any other messages about labor. Public-employee unions in Seattle are trying to use Washington state courts to stymie efforts by the Freedom Foundation, a conservative nonprofit, to identify and contact state workers to tell them how they can opt out of union political spending.”
“We have one mission, and that’s to help forcibly unionized workers to escape their unions, to learn about their rights and then help walk them through the process of exercising it, to leave the union, to stop paying for union politics and messages they disagree with. That’s what we do 24/7. That’s why this case, of course, is of interest to us.” – David Dewhirst
“The Freedom Foundation is a conservative think tank ‘working to reverse the stranglehold public-sector unions have on our government’ and has filed a brief in support of Janus.” – The Daily Caller
“There is a huge amount of political money at stake. I mean, hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars every year flow just form the public-sector labor unions on the West Coast into the national political scene.” – David Dewhirst
“While the Freedom Foundation predicts victory for Janus, ‘(T)he real work starts the day after the decision comes out,’ Dewhirst said. After the decision is released, ‘(I)t has the potential to free hundreds of thousands of workers across the country’ from compulsory dues.” – The Daily Caller
“The Freedom Foundation has taken to advertising, letters, phone calls and even canvassing neighborhoods to inform private home health aides that they are not obligated to pay union dues as a condition of employment. The campaign has achieved success. One union in Washington state lost two-thirds of its membership to the foundation’s campaign.” – The Daily Caller
“They treat their members like mushrooms: cover them in s#*t and keep them in the dark,” – David Dewhirst
David Dewhirst, chief counsel at Washington state’s Freedom Foundation, said the current system violates a worker’s free speech rights. Unions should win over workers by persuasion.
“Being forced to fund union speech violates a fundamental right, and it is a longstanding principle that courts do not assume acquiescence in the loss of fundamental rights,” he said in a statement. “If public employees wish to belong to a union, they have that right. But unions should be forced to obtain workers’ permission before they start skimming from their wages.”
“The Freedom Foundation has helped empower employees to opt out of funding unions. Last year, the nonprofit released data about its work in Oregon. A full 11,399 of the 28,667 homecare and personal support workers who had been forced into the SEIU union 503 have decided to leave the union, costing the organization $10 million. Many workers had no idea they had the freedom to leave the union, until the Freedom Foundation told them.” – PJ Media
“Telling somebody to pay the union is compelled speech, compelled political speech, which is absolutely prohibited by the First Amendment.” – David Dewhirst.
“Can you imagine the public outcry if people were forced to fund the NRA until they went through an opt-out process?” – David Dewhirst,
“The Freedom Foundation has so far withstood the unions’ attacks and successfully educated tens of thousands of workers about their rights. This translates into millions of dollars no longer siphoned into union coffers by unwitting and objecting workers.” -David Dewhirst
“The Freedom Foundation, battle-hardened and undaunted, has good news: If you’re willing to fight and endure, then you can ultimately get through to workers and give them a meaningful choice about their rights.” – David Dewhirst
“In terms of workers’ rights, Janus is not the finish line. It’s the starter’s pistol.” – David Dewhirst
“So fantastic! Liberty, freedom and less government. I love it. Thank you (Freedom Foundation) for getting your message out.” –Matt Locke, Conservative Cartel Radio
“The Freedom Foundation are the best fighters on the West Coast. They’re doing the hard work every day to get people out of union. In the last couple of years, we’ve managed to get 21,000 folks to leave SEIU. That translates into big political dollars.” – David Dewhirst
“The real fight for workers’ rights starts the day after this decision comes out, if it goes for Mr. Janus. This decision is going to be a big strategic victory, a watershed moment for labor law in the United States. But it’s not going to get a single person out of a union. The fact is, you have to do what we’ve been doing for the last several years, and that is a massive outreach campaign to workers over the last several years just to tell them about their rights in the first place. It becomes a fight for every union member, and that’s why organizations like ours exist, to help people walk through that process, to even know about that process. – David Dewhirst on Hillsdale College Professor Scot Bertrand’s Radio Show