House Passes Union-Busting Legislation

By: Mike Vasilinda Email
By: Mike Vasilinda Email

Tallahassee, FL - Police, firefighters, teachers, and many other public employees will no longer have their union dues deducted from their paychecks if legislation approved by the Florida House becomes law.

This remark,“Unions are great”, from Republican Rick Workman brought laughter from union members in the House gallery. Republicans who defended the bill say government has no business collecting union dues.

“We just had an election, unless you were not paying attention, the people spoke loud and clear: they want government out of their business,” Rep. Mike Horner (R-Kissimmee) said. “This gets government out of their way.”

Union members say the legislation singles them out because of support for Democratic candidates. The bill still permits deductions for 300 other organizations.

“What we’ve found were dozens [of organizations] that made direct political contributions in the 2010 political cycle, and those contributions dwarfed anything that any unions spent in the state of Florida,” Rich Templin, with Florida AFL-CIO, said.

The legislature’s own analysis says it will likely be more difficult to get union members to write a check for their dues.

Despite the language in the analysis, sponsor Chris Dorworth (R-Seminole County) says the bill has nothing to do with union busting.

“This bill very clearly promotes the rights of members of the unions,” Dorworth said.

Reporter: How so?

“By granting them the authority over their decision,” Dorworth said.

If the legislation becomes law, and that’s still a big if, it is likely to be challenged under the Federal labor law.

The legislation was approved with just one Republican voting “no” and seven others taking a walk.

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