The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is still up to no good – promoting harmful legislation that threatens the rights of unions and workers.
The Center for Media and Democracy reports that ALEC has introduced at least 117 bills this year in statehouses across the United States that hurt the wages, rights and benefits of workers.
IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger told CMD, “The sole purpose of ALEC has been to develop the most anti-middle class, pro-corporation policies, legislation and agenda in history. They've been waiting for just the right moment to reverse the progress of the American middle class and drive everyone to the bottom, to the lowest wages, the weakest benefits, no job security, and no retirement to speak of. We may not have the billions of dollars of the Koch brothers. But we have each other and we must stick together and fight ALEC's cynical and un-American agenda."
This year, ALEC has helped to introduce Right-to-Work legislation in at least 15 states.
Other ALEC inspired legislation hitting statehouses in 2013 includes:
• Paycheck protection bills in six states which require unions to establish separate segregated funds for political activities and prohibit the collection of union dues for those activities without the express authorization of the employee
• Multiple bills attacking prevailing wages, living wages and minimum wage in at least 14 states
• Privatization and outsourcing of public services to workers with fewer credentials, lower salaries and fewer benefits
In addition, Michigan’s Mackinac Center – an ALEC member – brought three new bills limiting workers’ rights to ALEC’s Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development Task Force in 2012 that would require public sector employees to vote on unionization every three to five years. It was introduced in Idaho this year. ALEC is also behind efforts in at least 10 states to change the pensions of public employees by eliminating a defined benefit pension plans to and moving to defined contribution plans.
See the list of states where ALEC has introduced bills to hurt workers in 2013.
As workers continue to fight for their rights, ALEC and its billionaire corporate backers like Charles and David Koch keep getting rich off the backs of American workers.
ALEC, a Washington, DC-based politically ultra-conservative non-profit, thrives on operating in the shadows of American government to push anti-worker, anti-union legislation in statehouses across the country.
Founded in 1973, ALEC supports free market principles and courts financial support from various foundations, including those controlled by the Koch Brothers.
ALEC sponsors private meetings allowing state lawmakers and corporate executives to frame legislation that is later introduced in state legislatures. The laws tilt in the favor of big business. ALEC has pushed legislation that has been harmful to fire fighters’ rights to collectively bargain and has also proposed other anti-union policies.
Over the past year and half, ALEC has felt the glare of the spotlight with some of its bad policies coming to light, causing at least 49 corporate sponsors and members to cut ties to the organization. This list includes: Bristol-Myers Squibb, WellPoint, Bank of America, Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), General Electric, Western Union, Sprint Nextel, Symantec, Reckitt Benckise, Amgen, General Motors, Walgreens, Hewlett-Packard, CVS Caremark, Deere & Co., Miller, Coors, Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Kraft Foods, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Kaplan, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Mars, Inc., Intuit, Proctor & Gamble, Reed Elsevier, America Traffic Solutions, Louis Dreyfus Commodities, Amgen Inc. , Entergy Corporation, Arizona Public Services, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, YUM! Brands, Amazon.com, Medtronic, John and Johnson, Dell Computers, Express Scripts/Medco, Energy Solutions, Connections Academy, Well Fargo, Merck, Brown-Forman Company, Conoco Phillips, Walgreens, Unilever, Lumina Foundation for Education and National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA).
The labor movement is taking a stand against ALEC. Watch videos of the IAFF fighting back against ALEC’s policies in Oklahoma.
A rally is planned to protest ALEC’s 40th anniversary conference in Chicago on Thursday, August 8.