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The Brave New Dangerous ALEC Frontier

Sometimes it is the little things that can catch you off guard.

The IAFF does not want its members to be blindsided by the American Legislative Exchange Council’s new strategy to attack the rights of workers.

ALEC, a politically ultra-conservative non-profit, which thrives on operating in the shadows of American government pushing anti-worker, anti-union legislation in statehouses across the country, is collaborating with the Heritage Foundation, along with a new group called Protect My Check to continue the onslaught of attacks – but this time in YOUR city.

The maniacal trifecta of ALEC, the Heritage Foundation and Protect My Check are attempting to duplicate ALEC’s success in statehouses but this time legislation will be concentrated in local towns, counties and municipalities.

The strategy is to get money from local businesses (ie: the Chamber of Commerce) and convince members of towns and local municipalities to support ordinances that are a detriment to workers like Right to Work, Dues Deduction, Pay Check Protection and yes privatizing services like fire and EMS. So that means, not only would big businesses have strong influence over local politicians, but they would stand to get rich off money through the privatization of services.

This offshoot will work in conjunction with what’s happening in statehouses and the kinds of attacks that we’ve seen over recent years in states like Wisconsin (collective bargaining), Florida (pension system) and Missouri (Right to Work).

It works like this the evil groups will work to bring local businesses, lobbyists and elected  officials together with the goal of developing legislation that could be adapted from local municipality to local municipality (city to city). Our opponents talk a big game promising elected officials that new jobs, development will come to their communities. And there will be NO price for them to pay politically. BUT WE know laws like Right to Work and others, aren’t boom, just hype, and we encourage our members, to talk to their local elected officials and hold them accountable.

With this new strategy our opponents are betting that labor groups and supporters will not have the proper resources to thwart negative bills especially if they pop up in city after city.

This is just the latest step to rig the system to favor corporate interests. These dubious groups want to hurt the labor movement and put workers in a permanent underclass.

Most importantly this leads cities down a dark and dangerous path compromising our democracy by ruthless, greedy business people who want more power and money for themselves.

We urge our locals to be watchful of ALL city business and discussion. Our opponents are devious and are introducing legislation in disguise.

In Bowling Green, KY a preliminary Right to Work ordinance was advertised in advance as an ordinance relating to the promotion of “economic development and commerce”. There was little public comment except from groups with close ties to ALEC including the Chamber of Commerce and the Bluegrass Institute. Supporters of the efforts say, if they are successful in Kentucky, they will try to pass similar local laws in Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and other places that do not have a statewide right-to-work law. Protect My Check is promising to pay for the legal battles of any local government that tries it.

Brent Yessin, an anti-union consultant and lawyer who is on the board of advisers for Protect My Check said, “There are literally thousands of targets for the initiative. Doing this county by county, city by city is more time consuming, but it’s also more time consuming and draining for the unions to fight.”

These groups are awful and they are after us and our livelihood. A lot is at stake.

Don’t let ALEC and other no good groups catch your city off guard! We can only fight our opponents if we are vigilant in our local government.

 

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