Monopoly, the board game, is a great way to while away a snowy Friday night with family and friends. Growing fake wealth off the faux misfortunes of your siblings or spouse never gets old.
But there’s nothing remotely great about small-M monopoly when it comes to the labor unions claiming to represent government employees.
In fact, the very real games government union monopolies play with people’s livelihoods and bank accounts aren’t nearly as lighthearted or endearing.
For almost 60 years public employees subject to a collective bargaining agreement were given no choice in workplace representation. Over the course of their careers, they were forced to pays tens of thousands in member dues for a service they never sought — in many cases in direct violation of their personal convictions — with no assurance it would ever be provided when needed.
The only guarantee a public employee had was that his or her money would be used to fund government unions’ political activities rather than their own.
Then, in 2018, came a game changer.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Janus v. AFSCME recognized that mandatory union membership, dues or fees in the public sector were a violation of the employees’ First Amendment rights to free speech and association.
On paper, the decision appeared to topple of one of America’s last standing monopolies.
Rather than simply assuming a worker wants to join and financially support its activities, unions should be required to earn the trust and confidence of potential consumers – the way independent service providers must in the real world.
And with that understanding came a responsibility to be more transparent and spend the dues money in accordance with the members’ wishes rather than the union leadership’s.
But rather than agreeing to play by the new — Constitutionally required — rules, unions resolved instead to rig the game.
With billions of dollars, the political power it can buy and, quite literally, their very existence hanging in the balance, the union leaders doubled down.
And the losers ever since have been the workers whose freedom from union oppression was guaranteed in Janus but continues to be restricted by union foot-dragging and head-scratching legal decisions from complicit lower court judges.
Many workers yearn to exercise their God-given right to quit paying union dues. But opt-out restrictions and perpetual confusion regarding the time frame in which dues can be discontinued make the process needlessly opaque.
The terms and conditions of terminating dues payments can be all-but-impossible to understand. Navigating them frequently requires expert advice from an attorney well-seasoned in contract law — a resource unions have in abundance thanks to billions of dollars confiscated from generations of conscripted “members.”
Individual workers, however, have only two options — the law and the Freedom Foundation — on their side.
Fortunately, these are persuasive.
Freedom Foundation staffers offer workers expert advice on navigating the complicated opt-out process, and when unions resist, the organization’s lawyers provide hardnosed legal representation.
And none of it costs the worker a penny.
Public servants who want nothing more than their freedom should not be left on their own to decipher the cryptic opt out process. We’re here to help them beat the union bosses at their own game.
In fact, Freedom Foundation in Ohio is currently reviewing hundreds of collective bargaining agreements to determine whether one of the unions’ most cynical tactics — processing opt-outs only during a small, arbitrarily set annual window — will pass Constitutional muster.
Ohio’s public employees will know when and how to escape their union. Once and for all.
They will be equipped to act within the restrictions that were designed to trap them into union dues forever, irrespective of rights.
For the unions, it’s game over.
Don’t pass Go, and don’t collect any more dues dollars.