They’re coming after us.
That’s no surprise. We knew they would. And though they don’t stand a chance, that won’t stop them from trying.
Since the U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year that public-sector unions can no longer impose mandatory dues on their members, a slew of anti-labor organizations — supported by wealthy special interests — have been working to dismantle union membership nationwide.
KNOW YOUR ENEMY. KNOW THE TRUTH.
New Choice NY
Right here in the Empire State, a group calling itself New Choice NY has been targeting public employees via multiple communication platforms, in an effort to convince them to bolt from their unions.
- What they say: That you have a choice to pay your union dues and that you should choose not to.
- What they really want: To convince enough members to give up paying union dues to the point where the union charter collapses and collective bargaining (and all the benefits that come from it) goes away.
The Mackinac Center for Public Policy — a Michigan-based conservative think tank long funded by the family of U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos —launched a whopping $10 million campaign aimed at persuading public-sector union members to disaffiliate.
- What they say: That they promote freedom and opportunity. That government isn't the solution to problems.
- What they really want: To weaken workers' rights to help the financial interests of their wealthy donors. To confuse us into equating our union with government agencies - unions are non-government, private organizations devoted solely to the professional and personal well-being of their members.
The truth is in the numbers:
- The Mackinac Center has received millions of dollars from right-wing donors, including $1,410,000 from Betsy DeVos and her family.
- The Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation has given the Mackinac Center at least $400,000.
- Betsy DeVos’s husband was even a member of the Mackinac Center’s board of Directors.
Last, but not least, the so-called Freedom Foundation — a group bankrolled by the billionaire, right-wing activist Koch brothers — have deployed their footsoldiers to labor-friendly states like California and Oregon to persuade workers to drop their unions.
- What they say: That members and local unions can disaffiliate with no adverse consequences or affects on contracts and collective bargaining.
- What they really want: To fracture the larger, more powerful union effort into smaller, less powerful pieces that can't as effectively advocate for members. Ultimately, dividing us leads to weaker bargaining power and fewer worker protections.
Are you beginning to see a pattern here?
Strong unions help workers earn more money, have better healthcare and secure retirements. Chipping away at these union-won benefits means workers will make less money and have less power while these billionaires will have more of both. It's that simple.
They have the audacity to try to convince you that not supporting YOUR union is somehow in your best interest. It's not. It's in theirs because they benefit from weaker rights for workers.