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Know Your Enemies & How They Plan To Attack Working People: ALEC's New Union-Busting Toolkit ‘Illustrates The Goal Is To Bankrupt Unions - Not Protect Workers’

Published Thursday, January 24, 2019
by Mary Bottari/PRWatch
Know Your Enemies & How They Plan To Attack Working People: ALEC's New Union-Busting Toolkit ‘Illustrates The Goal Is To Bankrupt Unions - Not Protect Workers’

It's becoming an annual ritual.

The Koch-funded cluster of groups, which has long abused their 501(c)3 IRS "charitable" designation by working to destroy political enemies, has concocted another "Union Busting" Toolkit, giving ammunition and guidance to Republican Politicians on how to attack and dismantle a major funder of the Democratic Party.

The toolkit appears to have been prepared by American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) Staff shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court's June 2018 Janus vs. AFSCME decision, which held that Unions could no longer require individuals in a Bargaining Unit who did not want to be Members of a Union to pay Agency or "Fair Share" Fees.

Fair Share Fees compensate Union Staff who are required by law to represent all Workers in a Bargaining Unit in their quest for better wages and working conditions.

ALEC is a collection of state politicians and corporate lobbyists from many of the largest corporations in the country.

The Janus case was spearheaded by ALEC's sister group, the $80 million State Policy Network (SPN), made up of 66 Right-Wing Think Tanks and other Koch-funded institutions.

The Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) uncovered a secret SPN "Toolkit" that coaches politicians to replace Anti-Union rhetoric with phrases like "Worker Freedom" and "Worker Choice."

Also uncovered by CMD and published in the Guardian, were SPN private fundraising letters bluntly detailing strategies for dismantling Unions and striking a "mortal blow" to progressive politics and the Democratic Party.

Today, CMD brings to light another iteration of the toolkit, which makes it clear that the ultimate goal of the ALEC-SPN groups is the end of Worker Power.

The "Public Sector Union Legislative Toolkit" marked "draft" and dated August 2018, is authored by ALEC's Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development Task Force along with Anti-Union zealot "Vinnie" Vernuccio of Michigan's Mackinac Center.

In public and in legal filings before the court, ALEC and SPN have been careful to frame their activities as advancing the "Free Speech" Rights of individual Workers over "forced Unionization."

Yet, time after time, this lofty rhetoric falls by the wayside and the true agenda is revealed.

The new ALEC Toolkit gets right down to bare-knuckle tactics.

The toolkit discusses the Supreme Court's Janus vs. AFSCME decision and presents an extreme view of how states should become compliant.

Don't just stop the payments of Agency Fee Payers, recommends ALEC, but stop all Union payments and force them back to square one: While many states were quick to become compliant in removing Agency Fee Payers from automated deductions, Liberty-Oriented Organizations do not believe solely exempting Agency Fee Payers is in full compliance with the law.  Because Workers cannot waive a right they did not know they had, the entire premise that Employees have opted into a Union pre-Janus is null and void.  This standard requires that states remove all Public Sector Union Members and Agency Fee Payers despite any previous signatures or proof of Membership from before the Janus decision.  This places the burden on Unions to go out and re-solicit individuals to obtain 'affirmative consent.'

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