The broad utopian agenda of the Left has been funded largely by the unions, but taxpayers are increasingly assuming the burden, too.
The government union movement is becoming less about workplace issues like schedules and wages and becoming about using government power to accomplish militant societal change—the kind of change that’s failed everywhere it’s been tried.
America has a tradition of carefully confining the use of power to only a very few legitimate purposes – and only those that are citizen-authorized. We’ve trusted in liberty to create the best and most efficient way to meet needs.
The agenda of the Left, however, finds a home in government unions awash in cash from their monopoly, and the taxpayer-funded Washington State Labor Education and Research Center (LERC) at South Seattle College.
This year, taxpayers are providing $338,000 to this nakedly ideological organization.
The agenda of the LERC gala includes these government policy concepts:
- Keynote address
. . . pressing need for a robust social movement based in the lived realities of working-class people from every background. Leaders and activists from unions, community-based workers’ organizations and labor education have a critical role to play in this movement building moment.
- Choke Points: Logistics Workers Seizing Power
Combined, the ports of Seattle and Tacoma and Seatac Air Freight are the fourth-largest port in the United States by sheer volume and value of trade, with over 70,000 workers employed in transport and warehousing of goods. Currently, only 10 percent of those jobs are unionized. This panel will discuss the various choke points located throughout that logistics supply train and how workers can use those choke points to build real working-class power.
- Organizing and Policy Partnerships 1: Unions and Community Organizations Raising the Floor
Unions have led or provided major support for dozens of employment-related policy wins in Washington – raising the minimum wage, paid sick and family leave, domestic worker and wage theft protections, secure scheduling and many more.
- Education Justice: Union Power for the Public Good
Across the United States, educators are leading an uprising demanding not only fair compensation, more rights and respect for the work they do, but funding to provide their students with the resources they need so that every student can thrive. Higher education workers are organizing to end precarious working conditions and for real academic freedom. This session will discuss specific challenges facing educators in Washington state and highlight exciting and innovative union campaigns winning education justice across the country.
- Solidarity in Action: Sanctuary Unions
In this workshop, model contract language and sanctuary resolutions will be presented so that attendees can walk away with meaningful, substantive ways to support their undocumented sisters, brothers and kin.
Minneapolis’ Awood Center is mobilizing East African workers in Amazon’s warehouses. They are calling for Amazon to be accountable to their employees and the communities that workforce comes from, and forcing the retail behemoth to negotiate. Innovative Amazon organizing is also happening here in Washington.
This is the sort of agenda for the use of power that is so narrowly supported that it would wither in the marketplace of ideas. Consequently, it relies on the funding of zealous captains of labor monopolies and politicians channeling public funds.
In The Heart of LERC, Nov. 20, 2017
PDC Finds LERC Broke Disclosure Laws, Dec. 17, 2015
State-Funded Labor Center Aiding WSLC, Breaking State Law, Jan. 14, 2015