Union Dues Trouble?

By: Mike Vasilinda Email
By: Mike Vasilinda Email

Tallahassee, FL - Dozens of police and firefighters packed the Senate Committee meeting room to fight what they are calling a Wisconsin type effort to hurt unions.

Jeff McAdams, Gainesville Fraternal Order of Police, says, "This is nothing more than an attempt to eradicate the voice of union members. Mr. Chairman, this is not what our country is all about."

The legislation being carried by Republican heavyweights in both chambers would end payroll deduction of union dues. Sponsor John Thrasher says it has nothing to do with union busting.

Sen. John Thrasher, R-Jacksonville, says, "I think there is an inherent conflict between the state engaging in the deduction of dues, and those dues being used for political purposes."

A chart listing AFLAC insurance and the United Way was put in front of the committee, with Bradenton firefighter Rocco Salvatori asking why it was okay for taxpayers to cover the cost of collecting for those organizations, but not unions.

Rocco Salvatori, Suncoast Professional Firefighters, says, "I have no idea what portion of my premium Cigna spends on political action. Maybe I could get a refund from them, if I don't agree with it."

In debate, one senator called the legislation unfair.

Sen. Tony Hill, D-Jacksonville, says, "When does the elections end and governance begin?"

Another called it political retribution.

Paula Dockery, R-Lakeland, says, "I think we're picking a fight with those brave men and women who put their lives on the line for us everyday."

The unions are leaving open the possibility of a lawsuit if their dues collection is halted, but not the collection for dozens of other organizations.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by GV Location: Ga on Mar 15, 2011 at 11:22 AM
    Anonymous,you're to stupid to understand that unions were good at one time,but they have gotten too much power,and are now the reason why all our jobs are shipped overseas.I for one am certainly very happy that they are being disrupted,especially since they were one of the main voices in this unconstitutional health care bill.Every since obammy stated that he is doing what andy stern wanted and that stern visited him at the white house more than anyone else,and then most unions get to op out of the healthcare bill that they wanted so desparately wanted to force on everybody else,and after they have turned the whole country against each other over obammy care,I am loving any heat and turmoil they recieve.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 15, 2011 at 09:59 AM
    All you people that are against unions are IDIOTS, do some research before you open your mouth. Unions were formed to protect workers from employers who try to take advantage of employees. Unions helped to eliminate excessive work hours, child labor, and bad working environments. Plus they added pressure for the government to pass the minimum wage law. Just because you are stupid enough not to be in an union doesn’t mean other people should follow suit.
  • by Simpleton Location: Wakulla on Mar 15, 2011 at 07:50 AM
    "Up North;" where unions originated, you join a union, then they get you a job. "Down here," you get a job, then join a union. This is backwards which makes it ridiculous. Where's your money going and who gets it? Democrat Election Lobbyist Fat Cats.
  • by Franklin Thompson Location: Tallahassee on Mar 15, 2011 at 06:34 AM
    To Really @ 8:29: Payroll deduction is a service that state government provides and can give or take away. It is not a right and it only extends to certain areas and again, it can be taken away. You can still do with your money what you want; you just have to do it yourself.
  • by Really??? on Mar 15, 2011 at 05:29 AM
    Soooo...I thought conservatives promote less government. Payroll deduction is voluntary and I can do what I want with my money right? Maybe we should've voted JG Wenworth as our governor.
  • by discrimination Location: state on Mar 15, 2011 at 04:36 AM
    If you collect for the united way you should collect for the pba union too. union dues are not required for employees, it's voluntary. The union that we are talking about represents police and firefighters.
  • by GV Location: Ga on Mar 15, 2011 at 04:28 AM
    Anonymous,you are right,unions are why vehicles cost $50,000.00.
  • by Surprise Location: leon county on Mar 15, 2011 at 03:36 AM
    Those who support this may find a horses head in their bed. (HA) End it.
  • by Peso accepted here Location: tally on Mar 14, 2011 at 10:35 PM
    In other words....you union folks can write your own check for your dues.
  • by Diane Location: Tallahassee on Mar 14, 2011 at 09:01 PM
    Unions are self serving they do not work for all the tax payers so why should all of Florida tax payers have to pay to collect dues that only go for a select few. It should be at the Unions expense to collect their dues, they pay the high salaries of the Union officials and provide them with expensive cars to drive. Union workers that are in occupations such as construction have to pay their own dues even if they are out of work and having a hard time making ends meet. Why should all tax payers have to pay for the expense to collect the dues for employees that choose to be in a Union? When a person chooses to join a union it is their responsibilty to pay the dues that is required to belong to that union.
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