(OLYMPIA, Wash.) — For the fifth year in a row, employees of the Freedom Foundation have volunteered to work on the traditional Monday Labor Day holiday and instead take a day off the previous Friday to observe what they’ve dubbed Right to Work Day.
“As always, we have the utmost respect for American workers and the work they do,” said Freedom Foundation CEO Tom McCabe. “We spend the rest of the year protecting workers’ rights to self- determination, and we wouldn’t want anyone accusing us of dropping our standard one day a year to honor an institution that exploits those same workers.”
In recent years, labor unions — particularly those representing workers in the public sector — have largely abandoned their traditional role of advocating for safer conditions and workplace necessities, he said.
“Most of those regulatory functions were long ago assumed by government agencies,” McCabe explained. “Unions nowadays exist primarily to skim dues and funnel other people’s money to their pet candidates and causes, who return the favor by passing union-friendly legislation.”
Historians can debate whether the Labor Day holiday was created to recognize the glories of organized labor in the first place. But even if it was, the unions of a century ago bear little resemblance to the bloated special interest they’ve become.
That reality was brought home forcefully earlier this summer, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Janus v. AFSCME that government employees could no longer be compelled to pay dues or fees to a union as a condition of employment.
“If unions provided a truly necessary service, they wouldn’t have to force anyone to buy it,” McCabe said. “This isn’t about serving the workers. It’s about shaking down as many of them as possible.”
The Freedom Foundation has become a nationally recognized force in the pushback against union abuse that culminated with the Janus ruling.
“No one here is forced to do this,” McCabe said, “and no one misses out on a holiday. We just choose to move it to the other side of the weekend and celebrate the ideal of individual freedom rather than a parasitic bully that victimizes the very workers it claims to represent.”
Based in Olympia, Wash., the Freedom Foundation is a nonpartisan, donor-supported, free-market think and action tank with offices in Oregon and California.