Printer Friendly

NONUNION WORKERS ARE RIGHT TO FIGHT BACK.

Byline: Caroline Miranda Local View

ON behalf of thousands of state workers, three brave state-employee Davids are fighting a union Goliath.

As a payback to the unions that put them in power with campaign contributions, Democratic politicians and Gov. Gray Davis recently passed a law allowing the state public employees union to take $45 million a year from state employees. Under the new law, more than 70,000 state employees must pay dues that could total $400 to $500 per year whether or not they want to join the union. This amounts to 91 percent of full union dues, according to union literature.

Unions spend tens of millions of dollars on political candidates and campaigns through soft money donations. Nationally, hundreds of millions of dollars are poured into political campaigns. Organized labor, a strong Democratic party ally, contributed over $1.3 million alone to Davis, according to his campaign disclosure statement. In response to those big money donations, the government sold out its constituents in a Faustian bargain to retain power.

But in this case, state workers said, ``No.'' With the help of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, a Virginia-based worker advocacy group, they are fighting back. The National Right to Work Foundation launched an attack on the union's use of compulsory union fees, recently filing class-action lawsuits in California.

Based on a 1988 Supreme Court case, union fees forcibly collected cannot exceed what the union proves it would cost for collective bargaining, contract administration and grievance adjustments.

Workers who must pay dues in California are entitled to a reduction in fees that go beyond these activities. In some cases in this country, dues have gone down well over 50 percent when workers claimed this exemption, according to public advocacy groups.

Many employees do not know their rights. In California, notice of workers' rights is buried in tiny print in a packet of materials sent to employees, and an unreasonably short deadline of mid-February given to protest, a time arbitrarily decided upon by the union and just two weeks after their paychecks reflected the deduction.

Like a corrupt business person who takes advantage of a would-be customer, the union does not want its customers sophisticated. Good businesses succeed by honest and fair dealing, selling a product people want. Politicians and unions succeed by doing just the opposite.

Workers would not know they have rights based on the propaganda issued to them. For weeks, state workers have been bombarded in their work and home mailboxes with unsolicited junk mail advocacy pieces paid by the state union extolling the ``fairness'' of its forcibly taking their money. One memo issued by a California State University representative notified workers of narrowly drawn religious exemption rights but left out mention of their fee reduction rights.

Unions live in confiscation bliss, forcing their subject vassals to turn over their money. The recent state law exemplifies the very collectivist philosophy the Legislature and unions espouse, in which they resemble gangs fighting to take property that does not belong to them.

It is a sign of totalitarianism to forcibly decimate property rights and confiscate private property, and a sign of the modern liberal age that this taking be described as ``for your own good.'' These attitudes do not grasp the Constitution's philosophy of the primacy of the individual and property rights. They eliminate the ideas of Jefferson, Locke and Aristotle for a collectivism that undermines the principles of this country.

In one recent propaganda howler, a state union newsletter distributed to employees said, ``Many employees expressed their concern over the new fee they were going to be required to pay. However, at the conclusion of the meeting our officers felt that overall this was a productive meeting, in that the employees were able to express their concerns directly to their leadership - whether or not there was agreement on all issues.'' Yes, one can see the serf approaching his lord, asking to keep a little more of his crops.

Unlike many other states, California is not a right-to-work state, which would prevent the union from this kind of underhanded activity. Only people without principle and morals could engage in these California shenanigans, but it's the people with morals and principles who are fighting back.
COPYRIGHT 2000 Daily News
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2000, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Feb 14, 2000
Words:708
Previous Article:PUBLIC FORUM SLIPPERY SLOPE.
Next Article:ORGANIZED HIKES AVAILABLE CHILDREN ENCOURAGED TO PARTICIPATE IN NATURE.


Related Articles
VOLUNTEERS STEP IN ANIMAL SHELTER, REGISTRAR KEPT OPEN.
BRIEFLY : FAMILY OF GIRL SUES IN FATAL COPTER CRASH.
NEW UNION ERA HAILED; ECONOMISTS VOICE DOUBT.
PUBLIC FORUM : PROP. BB LABOR ACCORD RECEIVES MIXED REVIEWS.
EDITORIAL WEEK IN REVIEW.
Only union workers entitled to witness.
LGBT DIY.
Workers back at hospital project.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters