Freedom Foundation

Ohio’s Newly Freed Workers Thank Freedom Foundation for Opt-Out Message

During the past week alone, Freedom Foundation outreach efforts saw dozens of Ohio’s public employees join the growing ranks of those who have decided to exercise their First Amendment right to opt out of union membership and dues.

While social-distancing restrictions due to COVID-19 have prompted the Freedom Foundation to adapt its outreach methods as of late, the pandemic hasn’t stopped the organization from safely contacting public employees about their constitutional rights — and apparently it hasn’t stopped employees from welcoming the news.

If anything, it appears organized labor’s response to the politicizing of COVID-19 has only provided more motivation for some employees to opt out.

Upon hearing about their right to cease financially supporting organized labor, a number of public employees opting out via the Freedom Foundation’s informational website also took the time to say thank you — and send the following notes:

“I got COVID at work and gave it to my husband, who nearly died… My union did nothing and told us to email and pressure (Gov. Mike) DeWine. Why should I pay them a ‘retainer’ to do nothing? Done.”

 P.G.
Ohio state employee
Former SEIU District 1199 member

 

“I’m an 18-year employee of the State of Ohio. I’ve been a disgruntled union member for many years due to their lack of effort in many areas, but especially at present with the pandemic. (SEIU District) 1199 is a very self-serving organization with its own agenda. I have been blatantly lied to by union officials in the past and quite frankly find them worthless. I received an email explaining the opt-out from you and have decided to proceed with something I have wanted to do several years  but was unsure how to go about it until now. Thank you for enlightening me.”

M.M.
Ohio state employee
Former SEIU District 1199 member

 

While union leaders’ mishandling of the COVID-19 situation was cited by some, others echoed more universal concerns — namely Big Labor’s lack of accountability, stoked by years of taking employees’ financial support for granted:

“I’ve worked for the department for over 20 years, and have never been a fan of the union. For most of my employment, I wasn’t a member but paid the “fair-share” dues. A couple of years ago, I felt pressured to finally join the union, so I did. Once a member, myself and fellow ASFCME workers in my office would send questions and concerns to our union reps and never received any responses. Actually, from the time we signed the union cards to be a full members, we have not seen or heard from them. Not long ago, I found out through a co-worker (in a different union) that we could opt out and then did some research myself. Your messaging did remind me that it was an option, and so I opted out. Thank you for asking and reaching out!”

 – K.L.
Ohio state employee
Former OCSEA (AFSCME) member

 

“I’ve been a member almost 25 years; I was a steward for four years… This union has done nothing for me except take my hard-earned money. I feel like I’ve paid my dues, and it’s time for me to keep some of that money for my family.”

– W.M.
Ohio city employee
Former AFSCME Council 8 member

 

“My reasoning for opting out was the result of your message. I had considered a few months ago and then forgot due to everything going on. I don’t participate in any union-related stuff.”

– K.H.
Ohio state employee
Former OCSEA (AFSCME) member

 

“(I)t’s something I’ve been wanting to do for years. I haven’t been happy with AFSCME Council 8 for years.”

 – E.R.
Ohio city employee
Former AFSCME Council 8 member

 

“It was the union. It has done nothing for 22 years now.”

– G.S.
Ohio city employee
Former AFSCME Council 8 member

With the two-year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Janus v. AFSCME approaching later this month, it’s fitting to hear from public employees who are grateful they’re no longer forced to choose between supporting union activities or losing their jobs.

At the Freedom Foundation, we’re grateful too — which is why we’ve made it our mission assist public employees in the Buckeye State and elsewhere in understanding and exercising their legal rights when it comes to union membership.

Whether it’s helping employees exercise their rights or pressuring the administration to enforce them, we recognize how important our work is to the employees who rely on it.

Public employees can learn more about their rights by visiting www.OptOutToday.com.