Operation Worker Freedom, launched in November by the Freedom Foundation’s California office, has a singular goal: Informing public employees of their constitutional rights.
In response, we expected public workers to be exuberant while the unions were apoplectic. We were right on both counts.
And now, after a month of increased canvassing, Operation Worker Freedom can be declared a massive success. With 26 new workplace canvassers recruited and spread over 10 major California cities, the effort has begun producing spectacular results.
Freedom Foundation canvassers spoke to more than 10,000 public workers and handed out more than 5,000 union resignation forms. Based on our internal tracking data, California had a record-breaking month, dwarfing its old record by nearly 150 opt-outs.
And those were just the ones that we could track.
Freedom Foundation canvassers had a few thoughts about the campaign, most notably the unions’ reaction to seeing canvassers at every turn. Here’s what some of our canvassers had to say about their experience:
“I noticed that public workers were hesitant to talk to us directly outside of their building. There is an atmosphere of fear here that I’ve never experienced before. Once public workers were around the corner, out of sight from their union representatives, they were much more open to a discussion.” – B.O.
“One day when I was outside the City Hall, around 30 union shop stewards and representatives showed up to hold a rally. They banged on drums, shouted at us and marched around. It was pretty entertaining, I just laughed it off.” – G.K.
“I was shocked to find that nearly everyone I spoke to was happy to hear from us. I’ve done signature gathering in the past and I’m used to getting some pushback. The only ones pushing back here were the unions.” – S.W.
Our canvassers quickly realized something that unions have forgotten: It’s all about the workers.
Many canvassers were quick to point out that they’re paying for something they don’t want. Most government employees pay between $700 and $1,000 in dues every year, and many pay even more.
The money a person could save over 18 years, the lifetime of a young person about to head to college, would be around $16,000. That’s money that could go to a first car, tuition at a good college, or just putting extra food on the dinner table.
Instead, unions take public employees’ money and spend it on political candidates, lobbying and pet projects that often have little or nothing to do with workplace issues.
Most workers agree their money should be going back to activities that help them and their families.
While many unions have forgotten about their financiers, the Freedom Foundation hasn’t. There is no cost to opt out of union dues; it’s totally free.
It doesn’t cost a penny to take back your voice and end the corrupt feedback cycle that hurts the everyday worker.
Our canvassers stand ready to assist.