We hope that everyone has a safe and happy holiday this season, but beware–there’s a new Grinch in town: The Freedom Foundation. Instead of Christmas gifts, they’re trying to steal something more valuable: our voice and power at the workplace. The Freedom Foundation has officially announced that they are starting “Operation Worker Freedom” in California. Over the next six weeks, dozens of their canvassers will be deployed to harass workers like us at government office buildings in 10 major California cities.
They’ve set their eyes on public sector employees like us; they’ve asked employers for your information so they can send people to your door urging you to drop our union.
Once they get to you, they’ll be slick and savvy; “Drop your membership, give yourself a raise!” they’ll say. “The union has to represent you anyway, so why pay for something you can get for free?”
What they won’t mention is what this will cost you. A union with weak membership means weaker contracts, which means lower raises (if raises are even on the table anymore), fewer protections for our benefits and pensions, and potentially losing a seat at the table all together.
Many of our contracts are coming up in 2019; we want to have the strongest bargaining power to fight for the best contracts we can get. And we need to stay strong even during non-contract season to make sure we can reinforce our hard-fought workplace gains.
When unions are weak, employers will use that to their advantage to push against worker demands: “Only 40% of the employees are union members. Since you only represent 40% of the employees here, you don’t speak for everyone. Most of them are probably ok with having to pay 40% more on their healthcare premiums and getting a two-year pay freeze.”
Luckily, Local 21 members are informed and know who really has our best interests at heart; we’re at more than 90% membership union-wide!Let’s keep it that way, and continue to grow our power!
Every one of us can educate and have conversations with our coworkers about the value of sticking together and union membership.
Have a safe holiday, and keep a watch out for Freedom Foundation Grinches!