February 11, 2020
11 Feb 2020

Political Update – February 11, 2020

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EDITORIAL: Forgeries show why union elections need secret ballots

Las Vegas Review-Journal
February 9, 2020

Sigifredo Araujo says he never signed a union card, but that didn’t stop SEIU 775 from taking dues out of his paycheck.

Mr. Araujo lives in Washington state and has provided in-home health care to his disabled mother for seven years. Medicaid pays for the care, but the SEIU wanted a cut. In 2018, he noticed that the union was withdrawing dues from his paycheck.

When he inquired about this, union officials told him that he had signed a membership card. He asked for a copy but never received it. The next year, he asked again. This time the union sent the card, but there was a problem. His signature wasn’t his. Someone had forged it.

Something similar happened to Sharrie Yates. She works for Washington state’s Healthcare Authority as a medical assistant. Washington isn’t a right-to-work state. Before the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2018 Janus ruling, Yates had to pay dues to the Washington Federation of State Employees. That ruling gave government employees the First Amendment right not to pay union dues. But when she asked to leave the union, it refused. Union officials claimed she had electronically signed a renewal form just a few days before the Janus ruling.

It’s easy for a situation like this to end in a stalemate. Unions have a financial incentive not to investigate apparent fraud or to allow those victimized to opt out. Workers are usually stuck waiting for the next opt-out period. If they miss their window, which may only be a couple of weeks long, they have to wait another year.

Fortunately, these workers found the Freedom Foundation, a nonpartisan organization dedicated to worker freedom and opposing coerced unionism. It has sued on their behalf. The Freedom Foundation has filed similar lawsuits in Oregon and California, too. Last year, it settled another forgery case, this one in Washington state, for $28,000.

The authorities should investigate these unions to find out how widespread these incidents are. Those responsible for forgeries should face criminal charges. That’s what would happen if a bank or other private business tried a scam like this. But because unions and Democratic politicians are political allies, don’t expect that to happen.


Quote of
the week



“Nevada Policy believes that unions, or any organization for that matter, should earn their support through the free choices of those people they wish to represent, rather than through government coercion.”

Robert Fellner, Vice President and Director of Policy for NPRI

NPRI to US Supreme Court: Restore Workers’ Rights!

Nevada Policy Research Institute
February 5, 2020

Today, the Nevada Policy Research Institute, alongside 12 other public policy organizations from across the nation, have formally requested that the United States Supreme Court grant Certiorari in the Reisman v. Associated Faculties of the University of Maine case.

Maine university professor Jonathan Reisman is challenging the state’s exclusive bargaining law, which requires Reisman to accept the union’s advocacy as his own, even though he objects to union representation and opposes its advocacy on his behalf.

Nevada law similarly denies public workers their basic First Amendment rights — including the 50 percent of state educators who have rejected membership with their workplace union but are nonetheless forced to accept the union’s advocacy and representation during labor negotiations.

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