Proposal to stop payroll deductions for union fees derided by labor groups
By James Call
Tallahassee, FL – A bill before the Florida Senate would prevent the state from deducting union dues from salaries and make it more difficult for unions to represent their members. James Call reports labor groups say it is part of a coordinated attack >on middle class workers.
Unions count on paycheck deductions to hire lawyers and negotiators and to lobby lawmakers. Senator John Thrasher wants to prohibit the automatic transfer from employees paychecks to organizations if the money will be used for political activity. Richard Siwica represents firefighters and says Thrasher's bill is one of the most significant issues on labor's radar.
"Actually it's not just state agencies. Public employers. Statewide. Cities, Counties, anybody. It's part of a nationwide attempt to undercut the ability of labor organizations to represent employees in the legislative process, in collective bargaining in arbitration, litigation and the things that unions do."
Siwica made a presentation to a legislative joint select committee on collective bargaining. Paycheck deductions is one of the issues that has the state and public sector unions at an impasse. The unions support the current law that requires government entities to deduct union dues from paychecks.