The Real Reason Why The Freedom Foundation is Attacking Workers During the Pandemic.
May 11, 2020
The anti-worker “Freedom” Foundation recently printed an op-ed of lies in the California Globe. When the Northwest Accountability Project (NWAP) tried to have equal space to educate their readers about the nefarious actions of the deceitful anti-union group, the Globe denied our request. We’ve posted it here instead. Enjoy.
The April 14 opinion, “Temporary Suspension of Government Union Dues: A California Stimulus Proposal Whose Time Has Come,” is nothing more than another political ploy by the “Freedom” Foundation in a desperate attempt to remain relevant with their funders. The proposal would be laughable if they were not shamefully trying to exploit a pandemic that has killed more than 50,000 Americans to fulfill an extremist anti-union agenda.
The “Freedom” Foundation is an anti-union group that’s part of the Koch backed State Policy Network (SPN). Their goal according to CEO Tom McCabe was to “bankrupt unions” along the West Coast to help elect right-wing candidates and advance right-wing causes. A goal they failed to reach. Since the pandemic began, they have desperately tried to use the crisis to attack workers, including those on the frontlines. In Washington, the failing Freedom Foundation badgered firefighters at their homes about their union membership, shamefully stoking fears around a crashing economy caused by the pandemic. Firefighters fired back immediately calling on McCabe and Tracie Sharpe, the head of the SPN, to stop harassing firefighters, who are at serious risk of contracting COVID-19, amongst the many other dangers they face.
Essential workers are fighting hard on the frontlines to protect us all and provide Californians with essential services needed during this time of crisis and precarity. But let’s not speak abstractly about who these workers are. Public workers are firefighters, first responders, nurses, daycare workers, and home healthcare workers, among others. When anti-union groups talk about forcibly stopping voluntary union dues, they are talking about destroying the organizations that enable workers to have a voice in the workplace. Workers know their gains have been won at the bargaining table and that they are stronger together.
That is why the Freedom Foundation’s $20 million campaign to divide workers and destroy unions has been a monumental failure. Union membership in California grew by nearly 100,000 members from 2018 to 2019. The Freedom Foundation is desperate and clamoring for attention in an attempt to keep themselves relevant – that’s likely how they concocted this scheme. The Northwest Accountability Project has been tracking anti-union groups and their donors for nearly five years, and here’s what we know: they are more like an empty shell that makes a lot of noise, than a powerhouse political player that threatens unions. Take, for example, the lawsuits they frivolously file: In 2017, at a closed door fundraiser, McCabe said: “…and I think that most of the lawyers know this … but I don’t even care if we win any of these cases…”
While frontline workers are risking their lives to protect Californians, the Freedom Foundation is only trying to appease their donors. Any proposal they espouse promoting economic growth by cutting protections for working people should not be taken seriously. The “Freedom” Foundation’s political stunts are meant to cause division amongst workers. It’s especially shameful during a worldwide pandemic. Now is the time we must unite around workers, especially those on the frontlines putting themselves and their families at risk.