Freedom Foundation

Union Operatives Have Questions? We Have Answers

This week the Freedom Foundation’s Oregon director, Aaron Withe, spoke at the public affairs forum in Washington County. The topic of discussion was to be the Janus decision and how public employees could free themselves from union tyranny. 

What was supposed to be a gathering of diverse viewpoints and open minds, however, turned out to be a hot bed of union sympathizers.

After Aaron spoke on Janus and the Freedom Foundation’s efforts, he opened the floor for any questions that the group might have.  The first question posed was whether employees continue to drop their union membership how will they lobby for pay raises, fair and safe workplaces and ongoing training? 

Aaron’s response can be viewed here:

The next person immediately started out by explaining how much they appreciate the union because of their support of progressive candidates. After praising the unions, the individual finally asked his question, which was, “Who funds the Freedom Foundation?”

Aaron politely responded that since we are a 501c(3), we do not disclose our donors. More to the point, we won’t reward our donors’ generosity by subjecting them to union reprisals.

Despite Aaron’s answer, this question was revisited several times throughout the Q&A. 

Another question concerned the “free-rider” argument unions use.  If someone doesn’t pay for union membership, the reasoning goes, why should they be represented by the union and receive the same benefits?

Aaron’s response can be viewed here:

Another forum attendee asked if our mission was just a ploy by business owners to get rid of unions. This was a strange question considering the Freedom Foundation only focuses on public-sector unions, but Aaron explained that our mission is to reduce these union’s influence in politics. 

“If the unions actually provided a good service to their members,” he said, “we wouldn’t exist.”

If public-sector unions focused on getting better results for their members rather than influencing politics, he continued, they wouldn’t see drops in membership like they have lately. 

Everything public-sector unions do is inherently political because they’re playing with tax dollars, but they could use that money better if they actually cared about representing their members.

Aaron’s response can be viewed here:

Despite these other hostile interactions, the forum did consist of individuals who were happy with what the Freedom Foundation is doing.  One of whom who stopped by afterwards and said, “You’re doing God’s work.”

The Freedom Foundation is happy to answer questions like these and show that we have nothing to hide. There is no hidden agenda to undermine the working class, cut wages, or take away benefits.

Rather, we would just like to see employees have the freedom to choose.