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Ho, Ho, No! Anti-Union Elves ‘Exploit Holidays To Spread Lies’

Published Thursday, January 2, 2020
by IBEW News
Ho, Ho, No! Anti-Union Elves ‘Exploit Holidays To Spread Lies’

With no apologies to Dr. Seuss, Union-Busting Grinches masquerading as Santa and his elves spent the holiday season trying to swipe economic security from America’s Public Workers.

It’s a new low for the insidious Anti-Union Campaigns bankrolled by the Koch Organization and billionaire friends, who’ve been pressuring Public Workers to abandon their Unions ever since the U.S. Supreme Court opened the door last year in Janus v. AFSCME.

In the weeks leading to Christmas, activists costumed in red and green showed up at homes and government buildings to deliver lies about Unions in the guise of seasonal greetings.

“Ohio Public Employees - have you seen Santa outside your work? @FreedomFdtn Santas are spreading good cheer and good news of leaving government unions and keeping more of your money,” proclaims a tweet from the Koch-created Freedom Foundation, which has been particularly boastful on Social Media about its holiday hostility.

Deceptive e-mails and postcards reached even more Union Households showing a smiling shopper with an armful of wrapped gifts appears next to underhanded and grossly inflated claims about the money Public Employees could save by cutting off their Union Dues. 

But there was no mention of the higher wages, enviable benefits and job security Union Members get for their investment.

“When ‘even Christmas isn’t off limits, it really shows their desperation,’” International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) President Lonnie R. Stephenson said. “For eighteen months now, their ‘hostile tactics have overwhelmingly failed to persuade’ Public Employees to ‘leave’ their Unions.  In fact, Janus ‘was a wake-up call.’  ‘It helped more Workers understand how valuable their Union Membership is - how much bang they get for the buck.’”

That “bang” includes average wages that are 13.2% higher than Non-Union Workers receive, according to a 2017 Economic Policy Institute (EPI) Study

It also found that:

More than nine in 10 Workers covered by a Union Contract - 94% - have access to employer-sponsored health benefits, compared to 67% of Non-Union Workers.  Employers with Union Shops also pay a far greater share - 77.4% more - of their Workers’ health care costs.

Paid Sick Days are offered to 87% of Unionized Workers, compared to 69% of Non-Union Employees.

Union-represented Workers are far more likely to have retirement benefits of any kind, and 74% still enjoy the security of traditional Defined Benefit Pensions, compared to just 15% of Non-Union Workers.

Through education campaigns heavy on Member-to-Member outreach, the IBEW and other Unions who represent Public Sector Members began stressing those benefit and many others well in advance of the anticipated 5-4 Janus ruling.  Politico reported in May that only one of 10 Unions they researched had lost money in the wake of Janus and that the 10 Unions collectively gained more than 132,000 Members.

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