Right-Wing Playbook for Persuading Workers to Drop Union Members After Janus Is Published

The Guardian obtained an anti-union toolkit already being used by the billionaire-backed anti-union apparatus ahead of the U.S. Supreme Court's looming decision in the Janus case, which could lead to so-called "right to work" for public-sector workers across the U.S. 

In Texas, the Texas Public Policy Foundation is playing a leading role in the program aimed at persuading union members to end their affiliation. Texas has had a "right to work" law since 1947 and virtually all union members in this state join voluntarily. But the Janus case could harm our state by weakening unions that operate across the nation.

Texas unions representing teachers, firefighters, police, nurses, correctional officers and other occupations among federal, state and local employees do everything in their power to provide value to members, who know they have achieved progress by speaking up together. As AFT President Randi Weingarten says in this article, the lawsuit is not really the engine of Mark Janus, but of a right-wing cabal funded by billionaires that wants nothing less than to destroy public-sector unions.

 Hat tip to Texas AFL-CIO intern Adriana Aguirre for passing this along:

Documents obtained by the Guardian reveal that a network of radical conservative thinktanks spanning all 50 states is planning direct marketing campaigns targeted personally at union members to encourage them to quit. The secret push, the group hopes, could cost unions up to a fifth of their 7 million members, lead to the loss of millions of dollars in income and undermine a cornerstone of US progressive politics.

 "Well run opt-out campaigns can cause public-sector unions to experience 5 to 20% declines in membership, costing hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars in dues money. This can affect the resources and attention available for union leaders to devote to political action campaigns," the internal documents say.

The anti-union marketing drive is the brainchild of the State Policy Network (SPN), a coast-to-coast alliance of 66 rightwing thinktanks that has an $80m war chest to promote Donald Trump-friendly regressive policies such as low taxes and small government. The group is funded by such billionaire conservative donors as the Koch brothers and the Walton Family Foundation that stems from the Walmart fortune...

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, said the Guardian documents revealed the extent of secret planning by rightwing groups in advance of the supreme court's Janus ruling. "These documents make clear that Janus v AFSCME is not a case brought by individuals trying to have a voice, it's a case brought by wealthy forces to eliminate worker voice and power."

She added that rightwing billionaires such as the Kochs "know working families only have power through their unity as a union, and they will stop at nothing to destroy that. But we have seen unprecedented support for our unions and the opportunities they enable for a better life - when the Janus decision day comes, we will stand united, ready to act and fight back against the forces that want to silence workers."

Read More. 

See the toolkit being used by the radical right to attack unions.

See the AFL-CIO's new information on the Janus case.