“Defying the Machine: Seattle Mechanic Triumphs in Battle for Union Freedom”

“Defying the Machine: Seattle Mechanic Triumphs in Battle for Union Freedom”

“Defying the Machine: Seattle Mechanic Triumphs in Battle for Union Freedom”

In the heart of Seattle, senior automotive mechanic Russell Long has spent the past year embroiled in a conflict that tested his resolve and his belief in individual freedom.

As a member of the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers Union, District Lodge 160, Local 289 (IAM), Russell sought to take control of his destiny and end his union membership.

The union rebuffed numerous attempts by Long in 2022 to exercise his constitutional right to opt out of union membership and dues. Still, it folded like a cheap card table after he contacted the Freedom Foundation this past March.

Long had previously attempted to sever ties with IAM by sending multiple letters, most recently on Dec. 28. However, the union remained unresponsive, blithely ignoring his repeated pleas.

The Freedom Foundation, increasingly frustrated with unions’ disregard for the rights of the very people they are legally representing, took up Long’s cause. Bolstered by the organization’s support, he redoubled his efforts to resign from IAM and requested an end to all union dues and contributions.

He also sought documentation of any dues deduction authorization they might have for him.

As the days turned into weeks, however, Long grew more frustrated. Despite having proof of delivery via USPS-certified mail, IAM ignored his opt-out requests, as did his employer, the City of Seattle.

The Freedom Foundation responded by sending its own letter to the union.

Almost immediately, Long was informed that his IAM membership had been terminated, and the dues deductions were halted.

In the process, the Freedom Foundation restored Long’s autonomy, a victory that will undoubtedly resonate with many others who find themselves in similar predicaments.

Organizations like the Freedom Foundation serve as a beacon of hope in a world where Big Government and the reluctance of unions to respect their members’ choices often seem insurmountable. Russell Long demonstrates that the fight for individual liberty can still be won with perseverance and the right support, even in Seattle, Washington.

National Outreach Director
Before joining the Freedom Foundation, Matthew worked as supervisor at the Washington State Department of Agriculture, where he coordinated efforts between federal and state agencies, tribes, and volunteer organizations in the Puget Sound. Grassroots politics has provided Matthew with many unique and sometimes controversial experiences. These experiences range from successfully building coalitions between different factions to training and organizing volunteers to maximize their effectiveness. Matthew’s passion for freedom to educate citizens about their Constitutional rights is strong and unwavering. “I not only measure success by results, bu t by the integrity of the action taken to achieve the result.” —Matthew H.