Relying on the same denial tactics that never worked out West, government union leaders in Pennsylvania are doing everything they can to convince themselves the Freedom Foundation’s recent expansion to the Keystone State won’t hurt them.
In fact, Big Labor’s “anti-Freedom Foundation” messaging does nothing but arouse curiosity and make union members wonder what we do that gets under their leaders’ skin the way it does.
Perhaps it’s because the fundamental message the Freedom Foundation brings — that public employees have a constitutional right to opt out of paying union dues — is so much more appealing to workers tired of being told what to think, how to act and what their dues money will be spent on.
Or maybe it’s because organized labor in the Commonwealth, as elsewhere, is showing the age-old warning signs of corruption and unethical behavior. Perhaps it’s because government union leaders, not the “members” who pay their salaries, are the only ones with something to lose.
Could be it’s all the above.
Case in point, the two diametrically opposed messages provided to union members this April by the Freedom Foundation and one of the biggest government unions in Pennsylvania, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 668.
On the one hand, the Freedom Foundation simply informed Pennsylvania public employees of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2018 ruling in Janus v. AFSCME, in which the court held that compulsory union fees are unconstitutional and that public employees have the right to choose for themselves whether to financially support a union.
Meanwhile, SEIU Local 668 distributed sensationalist “warning” flyers to workers accusing the Freedom Foundation of resorting to “dirty tricks” for bringing them this message.
It’s not hard to see why workers themselves respond more favorably to one than the other.
Not only is the Freedom Foundation’s opt-out message true, but it’s given even more staying power when contrasted with SEIU leaders’ nakedly desperate attempts to keep their dues-paying members in the dark about their rights.
Not surprisingly, it turns out that most public employees in Pennsylvania don’t care “who’s supposedly funding whom” or how the Freedom Foundation might contact them with information about their rights.
What they do care about is those rights, and they can see through union leaders’ flimsy attempts to suppress them.
By now, the Freedom Foundation’s mission in Pennsylvania has been made well known among workers and elected officials alike. To help ease the economic burden on Pennsylvanians caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Freedom Foundation in March called on Gov. Tom Wolf to temporarily suspend government union dues deductions for just three months, a proposal that would allow the state’s public employees to keep a total of $63 million of their own money and inject it back into PA’s economy without costing taxpayers a dime.
Government unions treated the proposal with derision, and it’s no wonder why.
Fortunately, thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Janus, it will be the public employees, not union leaders, who ultimately decide whether government unions in Pennsylvania have anything to feel threatened by.
The Freedom Foundation will ensure public employees are aware of this choice — and if SEIU Local 668’s recent “warning” about the Freedom Foundation’s outreach is any indication, government unions will help them make it.
During this difficult time, Pennsylvania has no concrete plan to return to normalcy and remains in a standstill. Now more than ever is the time for Freedom Foundation to continue its important work to ensure public-sector employees can keep more of their hard-earned money rather than send it to pad union bosses’ salaries.
We’re here to help them gain the freedom they truly deserve.