On Friday the Florida House approved HB 1021. Also referred to as a union-busting bill, it would ban automatic dues deduction in public sector labor unions and require members to sign off on the use of their dues for political purposes.
By Nancy Pelosi standards, the bill was approved with a bi-partisan vote of 73-40. No Democrats voted for it, and three Republicans voted against.
Whether the bill is a union busting bill or not, depends on what you believe the purpose of a labor union is.
Union members may still pay their dues via a check or credit card. And they may still consent to the labor union using their dues for political activism. In either case, if labor unions are as attractive as the union leaders make them out to be, then they have nothing to worry about. The union-busting side complains that “the bill would bar unions from engaging in political activity without permission from members.”
Not only is that exactly right, but it is the point of the bill. The crux of the issue is the usurping of their members’ rights by presuming that all of their members wish to contribute to a political activity that they do not agree with. You could say that this is a pro-choice bill.
In this bill, the workers are permitted a choice where heretofore they had none. It in no way prevents the unions from participating in political activism as they have always done, and support whatever candidate or party (as long as they’re Democrats) that they want. They have the same rights as a union as their members do as individuals. Or to put it another way, the union members have the same rights as individuals as the union does as a collective labor union. The SCOTUS has already established that campaign contributions are the same as political speech.
All statistics being equal, if you figure that about half the country is D and the other half is R, then one could expect that, when finally given the right to choose to fund their union’s political activity or not, that the union might lose about half of their political campaign funds.
The way I look at it, the end of unions bullying their members has finally come. Sucks to be a labor union president nowadays.