Often the power of just one voice is enough to alter the course of events. When it comes to public-sector unions, membership rates are directly associated with whether workers speak up or ask questions about the union.
In anticipation of the U.S. Supreme Court 2018 ruling in Janus v. AFCSME, Washington lawmakers passed Senate Bill 6229, a union-backed bill requiring all public employers in the state to give unions at least 30 minutes with every new hire.
Knowing public employees could no longer be required to support them financially, unions needed to find a way to ensure as many new members as possible — even if meant breaking the rules.
This isn’t a new idea. SEIU-775 has been handed access to in-home healthcare providers for years at their state-required orientation meetings and continuing education sessions.
Of course, it makes little difference if these meetings with the union are voluntary or mandatory if people are led to believe they must attend. Or when official documents about the hiring process include the instructions, “You will be escorted to the contracting session. The first ‘30’ minutes will be a presentation by a representative of the SEIU Union.”
If at no point you’re told you do not have to sit through the first ‘30’ minutes of your mandatory meeting, how would you know?
Jeri Styles, one of many in-home caretakers the Freedom Foundation has worked with over the years, called last week with an update about her mandatory continued education.
Unions survive and even thrive by peddling fear and creating an “us-versus-them” culture. If there is no enemy, they reason, there is no use for the union.
Jeri told me the same things she had left on the answering machine, but further elaborated when we spoke.
The union was just going totally crazy over what extremists this freedom foundation is. I spoke up and said that is not true what you’re saying. Speaking out knocked him off his game, he did not know what to say after I spoke up and questioned him. I don’t think he expected anyone to question him. Several people were interested in opting out, and no one seemed to be interested in joining. I had a great day, the union guy did not want to deal with me, it was like he wanted to leave the room. Hopefully, I’m not in trouble. If I am? Oh well.
The union has been so successful at silencing people that even those who dare to speak up still fear retaliation.
We’ve seen it over and over. When someone stands up to the union’s propaganda, others are encouraged and choose not to join. When no one speaks up, there are both pressures from the union leader as well as a sense of peer pressure, and most people cave and join.
Don’t be silenced, and don’t let others be silenced in the workplace.
Stand tall, stand proud and speak the truth. All workers deserve to know and be able to exercise their rights.
If you would like material to hand out at your place of work, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org