War on Workers Begins at Home

State legislators crushing “pro-worker” city governments

Bloomberg: “Arizona Has a Plan to Get Revenge on Its Pro-Worker Cities”

Arizona is one of several states where legislators have moved to stop local officials from trying to pass minimum wage increases or paid leave policies that have no chance in the statehouse. …

The current fracas is the latest round in a two-decade tug of war between Arizona’s cities and its legislature over labor rules. Legislators first banned cities from passing their own minimum wage increases in 1997. Voters overrode that law with a 2006 referendum authorizing cities to pass minimum wage and benefits laws of their own. Legislators passed another law in 2013 banning cities from regulating wages and employee benefits, which activists successfully challenged in court, citing the 2006 referendum.

A massive new assault on home-care workers

Politico Morning Shift: “Door-To-Door Union Busters”

The conservative Freedom Foundation, which reportedly has ties to the Koch brothers and other like-minded anti-union groups, is dispatching foot soldiers door-to-door to inform child-care and home-care workers that they don’t have to be members of their union and that, in some cases, they don’t have to pay union does, the Guardian’s Steve Greenhouse writes.

Read the Steven Greenhouse story:

The Guardian: “The door-to-door union killers: rightwing foundation takes labor fight to the streets”

The man was one of the many foot soldiers in a highly unusual offensive against public-sector unions in the US north-west. A conservative group, the Freedom Foundation, has dispatched activists to visit the homes of more than 10,000 childcare and home-care workers in Washington and Oregon to advise them that under a two-year-old supreme court decision, they can opt out of paying union dues. …

[Labor leaders] say the Freedom Foundation’s unorthodox tactics are part of a grand plan to weaken unions and their treasuries, [and] sap their political influence …

Labor leaders say never before have they seen a foundation undertake such an aggressive, multi-pronged campaign against unions; nor have they ever seen such canvassing to advise workers about quitting their unions. …

The foundation’s tactics go well beyond door-knocking. It has made public records requests to numerous counties to obtain the names and addresses of home-care and childcare aides. It does podcasts that rail against unions and sponsors a website, optouttoday.com, telling public-sector workers they can quit their unions.

Last December, the foundation sent activists dressed as Santa Claus to stand outside government buildings, where they told workers they could give themselves a holiday gift by exercising their right not to pay that portion of union dues that goes to political activity.

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About Randy Lyman

SEIU Local 1021 Communications Dept.

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