Another Union Busting Bill

Here's what you need to know this week:

We're closing out the second week of the 2020 Florida Legislative Session, and unfortunately but unsurprisingly, our legislators in Tallahassee have started the process of passing another horrible union busting bill. House Bill 1 (filed by Rep. James Grant) and it's companion, Senate Bill 804 (filed by Sen. Jeff Brandes) would do three major things:

  • Requires dues authorizations to include the following non-neutral language in
    bold letters and at least a 14-point type meant to discourage current and potential members from joining:

    “I acknowledge and understand that I have a First Amendment right, as recognized by the United States Supreme Court, to refuse to join or financially support a union, that union membership and payment of union dues and uniform assessments are voluntary, and that I may not be discriminated against in any manner should I refuse to join or financially support a union.”

  • Requires that after the employer receives a signed a dues authorization; deductions would not start until the employer goes on to “confirm with the employee, electronically or by other means, that he or she authorized the deduction of dues and uniform assessments.” This puts the employer in charge of the dues authorization process for the first time in history

  • Requires that dues authorizations to be renewed annually, meaning the
    union/employer would have to chase down re-authorization forms from members who have no intention of leaving the union.

As it stands, this legislation would apply to all public employees, and it's already made it through its first committee. Though the sponsors of the bill say that this is to curtail "bad actors", we know that this is just another attempt to weaken and destroy labor unions through excessive administrative burden. The effects of this bill also come together with legislation passed in 2018 that decertifies education unions whose membership falls below 50% of the bargaining unit.

We have to fight back. One of the the best ways to do this is through the Working Families Lobby Corps (WFLC). Each legislative session, the Florida AFL-CIO's WFLC Program ensures that we fill the halls of the legislature to hold our elected officials accountable. Participants sign up for week-long increments in which they will travel to Tallahassee, receive training, and go on to the capitol where they let the voice of Florida's working families be heard. We need to stop this legislation, and we hope all locals will send activists to participate. You can find the sign-up by clicking HERE (individuals interested in participation should first work with their local union).

Here's what's coming up:

TOMORROW (1/24), our Florida Future Labor Leaders (FFLL Chapter will meet at 6:30PM at Hillsborough School Employees Federation (5126 North Florida Avenue, Tampa). This is the official voice for young workers in the Florida AFL-CIO and our Central Labor Council, and all workers under the age of 40 are invited to attend! RSVP Here

- Mark your calendars, because our February CLC meeting will be extremely important. The meeting will take place on Tuesday, February 4th at 7PM at IBEW 824 (6603 E Chelsea St, Tampa). At this meeting, we will be voting on approval of our new COPE Screening and Endorsing Procedures. This will be followed by a presentation on how the procedures will work in practice for the upcoming election cycle. Please note that to vote, you are required to be a registered delegate from a local union in good standing with the Central Labor Council. If you are not a delegate, please bring a signed delegate credential from your local to the meeting so that you may be sworn in before voting takes place.

Keep in Mind:

Our state workers are fighting back against a refusal by the governor for pay raises. Join them on Tuesday in Tampa at 11:30AM 9393 N Florida Ave.

That's all for this week! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more updates. If you would like to receive text message alerts from the Florida AFL-CIO (Msg & data rates may apply), text FLUNION to 235246!

In Solidarity,

West Central Florida Labor Council

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