Iowa’s big labor unions like AFSCME are once again lobbying the legislature to pass a bill that would force non-union members to pay union dues if they receive the same benefits for a union negotiated contract. The bill, which the unions call “fair share,” would allow unions to collect 75% of union dues from non-union employees.
This morning’s Des Moines Register show just how the unions operate. A state worker by the name of Joe Anderson, who has avoided joining AFSCME for the past 13 years until he joined the union last year, emailed the union about a work issue. Danny Homan, the leader of AFSCME accidentally included Joe in an email to some AFSCME field representatives that read, “A scab, take your time responding to him.”
So here we have an actual union member, who already pays dues, that is treated like dirt because he only recently joined the union. How on earth can the Iowa legislature in good faith force all state employees to pay union dues after seeing a glimpse on how these the current non-union workers will be treated?
This is nothing more than a money grab from the unions and everybody knows it. Last year AFSCME Council 61 spent over a million dollars on political activities and lobbying. Homan’s salary in 2008 was $97,599. According to the Legislative Services Agency, the unions already collect $5.7 million in union dues from its members. If the fair share bill is signed into law the unions will receive a windfall of an additional $5.3 million a year.
In 2005, then Republican State Senator Mark Zieman called state employees “bottom feeders with their hands out.” Democrats and union leaders chastised Sen. Zieman about his remarks. When he stood for reelection, his comments were once again made an issue, and he ultimately lost his reelection bid.
Zieman’s comments were in poor taste, but Homan’s comments deserve swift action. How can we stand by and allow the administrator of the state’s largest union deny benefits to a state employee who is in good standing with the union? The appropriate thing to would be for Governor Culver to demand Homan’s resignation.
As Governor, Culver should stand on the side of the state’s employees, not the unions that fill his campaign coffers.
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