This time of year brings one of Freedom Foundation’s favorite traditions: Santa Claus canvassing outside government buildings.
And who doesn’t love a visit from Santa?
Freedom Foundation canvassers say this is the most fun they’ve had while passing out information and telling public employees how to give themselves a Christmas bonus by leaving their union and keeping that dues money in their own pocket.
Of course, it’s fun to be the bearer of cheerful news, and even more so when you can wear a fun outfit.
Freedom Foundation canvassers receive honks and cheerful waves from people driving by, and people have gone out of their way to tell “Santa” how much they appreciate what the canvassers are doing. Several have even stopped to pose for pictures with the Santas and elves.
Several government employees in Washington came outside their building to chat because they could see the Santa outfits from their windows. One Washingtonian told Santa he was not in a union and that he was “free!” Another commented that they think many of their coworkers are opting out now that they are hearing about their rights.
Some asked for Freedom Foundation fliers to give to their friends.
A couple new California canvassers teamed up to make their own elf costumes to get into the spirit, while other California canvassers brought a small speaker and played Christmas music while handing out information.
One young California child walking on the sidewalk even ran up to hug on Santa. She then wanted to look in Santa’s “gift bag,” but it was full of opt-out information.
In Oregon, canvassers visited government buildings they’ve never been to before in Corvallis and Eugene. In both locations, union bosses come out and threatened to call the police if they didn’t leave.
They didn’t, though, and the overwhelming majority of employees at the sites happily accepted the literature.
And for the very first time, Freedom Foundation Santas canvassed outside government buildings in Ohio.
Many Ohio public employees approached the Santas, chatted about their desire to at least be notified that they have a choice, and numerous union members asked questions about how to start the opt-out process.
One Ohio family passing by on the sidewalk asked if their kids could take pictures with their Christmas hero.
Who’s not enjoying the Santa canvassing? Government unions.
Some of the canvassing teams have been kicked off the taxpayer-funded properties because the union bosses can’t stand the thought of their members learning the truth about their rights not to line union pockets.
Interestingly, at one location, the security guard making Santa leave commented that he personally supported Freedom Foundation’s mission.
In Ohio, one union representative began walking up to public employees who’d just spoken with Freedom Foundation Santas and snatched the printed materials the employees were given right out of their hands.
In Washington, one union representative threatened to call the sheriff if Santa didn’t leave, while another tried to prevent passers-by from even talking to the Freedom Foundation.
Freedom Foundation canvassers even got the attention of Wendy Conway, president of the Washington Federation of State Employees/AFSCME Local 443. She sent an email to public employees “in solidarity” with WFSE members warning them about a “bad Santa” appearing at worksites in Olympia and Tacoma.
Like the authoritarians they are, the union “caution” email barks marching orders to public employees on how to respond when they see a Freedom Foundation Santa outside their workplace:
- Let (Santa) know you don’t wish to work for less. Be aware that if you engage in conversation they may record you and post it online.
- You have the right to be removed from their contact list. If you are contacted after requesting removal, call the Member Connection Center.
- If you feel unsafe, contact the authorities.
A similar mass email went out after the first day of Ohio Santa canvassing, but their message sparked a good Samaritan to reach out to Lindsey Queen, Ohio’s state director, and to begin notifying her every time the union sends out notices about the Freedom Foundation.
The next day, union leaders organized to run interference, including handing out fliers of their own with the typical union talking points (lies).
Never mind that Freedom Foundation canvassers offer only friendly faces and information, or that canvassers are trained to record hostile interactions after union leaders harassed and bullied them outside public buildings and while returning to their cars.
Freedom Foundation has videos of union bullies yelling at, cursing and even insulting the physical appearances of the Santas.
The unions’ response is laughable, but consistent. Union bosses simply cannot tolerate public employees learning they don’t have to pay into the union’s coffers as a job requirement, because when they learn the truth, they opt out in droves.
Since June 2018, the Freedom Foundation has helped nearly 65,000 public employees leave their union and stop paying dues. That’s more than $50 million every year staying in the pocket of those who earned it, rather than funding union bosses’ lifestyles and aiding their political cronies.
And the Freedom Foundation is not resting on our laurels. In fact, we’re expanding. Operations are well underway in Ohio with canvassers, email campaigns and billboards. We’ll have more exciting news in the New Year.
’Tis the season to free workers from government union tyranny.