In a move a headline writer might describe as "Man bites dog," a former union organizer and lobbyist has joined the Commonwealth Foundation to fight for workers' rights and protect taxpayers by expanding personal and economic freedom in Pennsylvania.
Pearre Dean, a 14-year government relations veteran for the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), left the labor movement due to his inability to reconcile the ill effects forced unionism has on private enterprise and taxpayers.
"After more than a decade of seeing the other side, it's clear to me the private sector creates jobs, not the government sector-it's time the tail stops wagging the dog," said Dean. "Part of my new mission is to expand workers' freedom and get government out of the business of competing with private enterprise and taking advantage of taxpayers."
Dean joins the independent, nonprofit think tank as a senior fellow where he will continue his successful career with legislative and community outreach.
"As supporters of voluntary association and opponents of forced unionism, we are pleased to have Pearre as part of our team fighting for workers' rights and protecting taxpayers' paychecks," said Matt Brouillette, CF president and CEO. "Pearre knows well all the good unions have done for workers, but has also seen the harmful side that hurts employees and sticks it to taxpayers."
Dean's labor background began as a rank and file member of Local 1357 of the Retail Clerks Union, now the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1776, headquartered in Philadelphia.
While working at the AFL-CIO, Dean sat on many boards and committees, including as vice president of the Pennsylvania Consumer Action Network, as a member of the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, and as a board member of Kids Chance of Pennsylvania and the Governors Occupational Health and Safety Committee.
"I still believe in and will protect the rights of voluntary association," said Dean. "But it is time we ended forced unionism of employees and curtailed the special privileges granted only to organized labor to the detriment of workers and taxpayers."