June 22 2013

National Employee Freedom Week Kicks Off

Vicki E. Alger

Next week is National Employee Freedom Week (NEFW). The event started last year as an informational campaign spearheaded by the Nevada Policy Research Institute and the Association of American Educators for Las Vegas area teachers. Once teachers were armed with the facts more than 400 teachers opted out of the teachers union, Clark County Education Association. Today NEFW is a national coalition of 55 non-profit organizations in over 30 states.

Larry Sand, who heads the California Teachers Empowerment Network, writes a very compelling article about why the right to work and freedom from labor union conscription matter:

The U.S. is comprised of 24 “right-to-work” states which grant workers a choice whether or not to belong to a union. In the other 26 and Washington, D.C., they don’t have to belong but must still pay the portion of union dues that goes toward collective bargaining and other non-political union-related activities. The dissenters who select this “agency fee” option typically do so because they don’t like that about one-third of their dues goes for political spending. Even though over 40 percent of union households vote Republican, over 90 percent of union largess goes to Democrats and liberal causes….

To be clear, NEFW is not about denying anyone the right to belong to a union, but rather about letting employees know their options and providing them with facts that they can use to make an informed decision. Unions are threatened when workers choose to opt out, and typically accuse dissidents of being “free riders” or freeloaders. But, if employees don’t want the services that the union has to offer, they have no choice but to accept them because the union demands exclusivity….

One final thought: If unions are so beneficial for workers – as they keep telling us – why must they force people to pay for their service?

Why, indeed.

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