At the end of last week, what seemed like a coalition of labor unions protested the Annual Dinner of the Freedom Foundation, a workers’ rights organization that has become notorious for empowering workers to leave unions and stop paying dues to the Democrat-Labor machine. The protesters gathered in Portland, Ore., and Bellevue, Wash., on Thursday and Friday, respectively.
“Hey Hey, ho ho! Freedom Foundation’s got to go!” protesters chanted, walking in circles around grotesque inflated figures, a rat and an angry rabid dog. Signs read “F. the F.F.,” “Stop the war on workers,” “We have nothing to lose but our chains,” and the stock ad hominem “Fascist Racist Freedom Foundation.” There was even a “No one is illegal” sign.
While the protesters did not identify with one particular union in general, one man wore a LiUNA union t-shirt, another wore a shirt representing the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and other signs suggested the NW Carpenters Union. Sources told PJ Media that the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) was also likely involved.
What does the Freedom Foundation do? What kind of activism inspired this vitriol?
According to the organization’s website, the Freedom Foundation is a 501c(3) non-profit based in Washington and Oregon “working to reverse the stranglehold public-sector unions have on our government.” The group’s vision “of a day when opportunity, responsible self-governance, and free markets flourish in America because its citizens understand and defend the principles from which freedom is derived.”
“There is no path to expanded freedom, opportunity and prosperity until we make collective bargaining transparent, give government employees a choice to join an employee’s union or not, and prohibit taxpayer’s money from being unwillingly used to influence the political system,” the website explains.
According to the foundation, big government unions spent a whopping $250 million supporting liberal politicians in 2016, even while 40 percent of union members support conservatives. (OpenSecrets reported that labor unions spent $207,145,408, with 87.8 percent going to Democrats.)
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the SEIU specifically donated $1,461,756 to congressional candidates in the 2016 cycle, all of which went to Democrats. An AFL-CIO exit poll found that 37 percent of union members (and 43 percent of union households) voted for Donald Trump, while slightly more than half (56 percent of union members, 51 percent of union households) voted for Hillary Clinton.
The Freedom Foundation launches public information campaigns to empower employees to opt out of a union if they wish.
One such campaign saved workers across the country about $10 million, taking that money back from the Left-wing machine.
“Because of the Freedom Foundation, ten thousand workers have stopped paying union dues, costing the unions — and Democratic candidates — over $10 million to date,” the group declared in a YouTube video published in late July.
Democratic governors in states like Illinois, Michigan, Oregon, and others invented the fiction that homecare workers were government employees, since their clients (usually chronically ill family members) were using Medicaid to pay for their care. But the Supreme Court struck down this scheme in the June 2014 ruling Harris v. Quinn. Under that ruling, homecare workers are free to opt out of union membership and pay no dues, since they aren’t true government employees.
In this framework, the Freedom Foundation enlightened these workers, allowing them to opt out of joining a union, which would have spent their dues money on political causes they might have disagreed with.
The foundation released new data about its work in Oregon: a full 11,399 of the 28,667 homecare and personal support workers who had been forced into the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) chapter 503 have decided to leave the union in the last two years, during the same time that the Freedom Foundation had been reaching out to them.
In August, 54-year old Dennis Duffey, an employee at the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services, led at least five of his fellow employees in reaching out to the Freedom Foundation, the Willamette Week reported. He alleged that Laborers Local 483, the union of which he is a part, treats sewer workers like second-class citizens: failing to show up for their grievance hearings, negotiating a contract leaving wastewater workers making far less money than their counterparts in other cities, and pressuring them to vote for that contract.
“If I’m not getting represented, then I have a problem with paying dues,” Duffey declared. “I call it extortion.”
In late August, the Freedom Foundation filed a public records request with the city’s human resources department, requesting the names of 607 public employees.
Labor advocates have attacked the foundation as a “union-busting” organization, but the foundation explained that it fights for employees’ freedom to opt out of paying union dues — and supporting a Democratic machine which does not represent workers.
This helps to explain the ridiculous assertion that the Freedom Foundation is “fascist” and “racist.” Democrats have twisted these labels into attacks on Republicans, destroying their true meaning. There is nothing fascist or racist in freeing conservative employees from paying union dues that prop up the Democrat-Labor industrial complex. This is a basic democratic and republican principle — Americans should not be forced to give money to political causes with which they disagree.
Indeed, this freedom is the opposite of fascism, and it has no connection to race whatsoever.
But the attack proved nonetheless revealing. Union protesters seemed to acknowledge that their efforts were not in the service of representing workers but in the service of propping up the Democratic Party. This is why they employed the “fascist” and “racist” monikers against an organization that promotes freedom and has nothing to do with race. This is why another protester thought it was a good idea to bring a “No one is illegal” sign to an event that had nothing to do with immigration.
Even as protesters vehemently opposed the Freedom Foundation, they tacitly acknowledged that the very Big Labor complex they defended is essentially political, not a mere representation of the interests of workers. In the very act protesting the Freedom Foundation, they proved its point.
Watch the video of the protest below.