Freedom Foundation

Our business is freeing workers from union bondage — and business is good

Ten days into the month of August and the Freedom Foundation’s Oregon office has already filed another forgery lawsuit against SEIU 503 and mailed out at least six demand letters.

And given the scale of union corruption in this state, we’re probably just getting started.

These demand letters, for example, are used to address a multitude of government union sins, everything from discrimination against nonmembers to the unions’ tendency to completely ignore members’ requests to opt-out.

One of our most rewarding of these cases is Anarosa McNeil-Mora. Like SEIU 503 members, she used to have no choice but to pay the union hundreds of dollars every year, even though she did not share its values or agree with its tactics.

Now, thanks to the Freedom Foundation, the union is paying her — $640, to be exact.

It started in June 2018, when the U.S. Supreme Court’s issued a ruling in Janus v. AFSCME affirming that mandatory union membership and dues in the public workplace is a violation of the employee’s First Amendment rights. By October, she had written SEIU 503 and revoked authorization for her membership.

She was then told by a union representative, however, that dues would continue to be deducted from her pay until her one-year commitment to the union had been fulfilled. By May 2020 — after a second attempt to opt out and promises that dues deductions would stop by August 2019 —McNeil-Mora had enough.

That’s when she contacted the Freedom Foundation.

With a simple letter from one of our attorneys to the union, McNeil-Mora was able to put a 20-month long ordeal to rest.

Meghan Turner, a former member of SEIU 503, and Sonia Lowery, a former American Federation of Teachers (AFT) member, had the same experience. Both women been trying to leave their union for months. Turner submitted her first request in October 2019, and Lowery followed suit in December.

By spring, neither woman had heard anything from the unions.

These requests didn’t get “lost in the mail.” Both ladies sent certified requests and had records dating the delivery of their letters. Lowery’s request was received in January, while Turner’s second request came in April.

This summer, thanks to demand letters from our attorneys, both women have been freed from union bondage.

Although these are just a few of those we’ve helped recently, stories like these are not uncommon. The reality is that at Freedom Foundation, we hear from people experiencing these circumstances all the time.

Thanks to the support of generous donors around the country, we will continue to fight on behalf of public workers.

How many letters will we send this month? As many as it takes.