The Freedom Foundation’s California office has initiated formal legal representation of nine union members who allege fraud, manipulation, and coercion against their unions. These nine individuals were whittled down from more than 500 individual IHSS providers the Freedom Foundation contacted in its pursuit of public-sector union reform.
We will be notifying SEIU 2015 and UDW, AFSCME 3930 of our intent to pursue legal action and are readying federal court complaints against both unions for their unfair practices and treatment of its members. This strategy is one of many avenues for our pursuit of government accountability and transparency.
Over the past six weeks, our attorneys have personally contacted more than 500 individual IHSS providers across California who used OptOutToday.com to learn about their rights to leave the union.
Unfortunately, these providers soon discovered that leaving the union will not be so easy. SEIU 2015 and UDW, AFSCME 3930, the two exclusive unions representing IHSS workers, have created confusing and idiotic hurdles for providers, such as a once-a-year 15-day window that effectively prevents the providers from exercising their first amendment rights the rest of the year.
Providers are forced to wait months, sometimes up to a year, before they can exercise their rights. Meanwhile, the unions demand they continue to pay union dues. Ironically, this means that while the unions block the providers from exercising their First Amendment rights, they make clear to them that they immediately forfeit their rights to participate in union elections.
Think about that for a second.
One by one, these providers contacted the Freedom Foundation and shared their stories – mainly their frustration with their union. Some alleged fraud while others simply asked if there was any other way to leave.
After personally contacting these providers, I came across some cases so egregious they cry out for immediate legal action. Thus, on behalf of this first group of nine providers, we are sending out letters today that will notify the two unions of the providers’ claims along with demands to bring immediate action.
The federal court complaints are being readied should the unions insist on violating the providers’ constitutional rights. The battle continues and the Freedom Foundation is the only organization in California that is effective in its ability to free union members from the clutches of union tyranny.