Who is Waging a War on Workers?

Rick Bloomingdale, President of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO, in an “attack the messenger” approach, accused the Commonwealth Foundation of waging a dastardly “war on workers.” Nothing could be further from the truth.

Why the accusations? Well, if if you’ve read our website recently, you’ll know we’ve highlighted the unfair political privilege which allows government union leaders to collect—at taxpayer expense—campaign contributions and dues used for lobbying and politics from teachers’ and state employees’ paychecks. We’ve also educated the public about the benefits of paycheck protection laws.

Of course, government unions don’t want to lose such a political privilege, so they try to obfuscate the truth and invent myths to scare union members, along with the general public, about the supposed horrors of paycheck protection (along with creating boogeymen out to destroy workers).

Let’s take a look then at just some of the claims made about paycheck protection by Mr. Bloomingdale:

Members, leaders, and representatives of labor unions across Pennsylvania understand the threat that this bill poses to their ability to negotiate on a level playing field with their employer and to the voice of all working families.

Prohibiting the use of taxpayer resources for union use does not threaten the ability of unions to negotiate on a level playing field. In fact, paycheck protection does not touch the process of collective bargaining; unions would still be free to negotiate wages and benefits for their members. It simply requires unions to bear responsibility for collecting their own dues and PAC money.

It singles out unions only for unnecessary and burdensome rules and restrictions.

Unions are “singled out” only because they enjoy an exclusive privilege of using taxpayer resources to collect dues and campaign contributions. It’s hardly burdensome to require unions to collect their own dues and campaign money—every other private organizations has to do the same thing.

Now comes the most important part of the op-ed:

It will make it much more difficult to elect good candidates that are fair and do support working families.

While on the one hand claiming union dues can’t be used for politics, Mr. Bloomingdale acknowledges that payroll deduction of dues and campaign money is about union bosses electing candidates.

Bloomingdale knows dues are used for politics, and doesn’t want to see reform to a system that grants government unions a political privilege that has helped them unfairly hold sway in Harrisburg for years.

There definitely is a war being waged. But the war on workers and taxpayers is being waged by government union leaders.