Our political opponents continue to operate and create laws in the dark that affects the livelihood of our members, but we’ll continue to bring their shady activities to light.
The American Exchange Legislative Council (ALEC) hosted its annual spring Task Force Summit last week in Pittsburgh. If you have followed the Frontline Blog, you know ALEC hides in the political shadows, bringing lobbyists and lawmakers together in attempt to create policies that benefit corporate CEOs and big businesses. It is only once these egregious bills come to light that workers feel the detrimental effects personally and on our democracy.
ALEC is responsible for anti-union laws that degrade the wages and pensions of workers in states like Kentucky, Wisconsin and West Virginia. In the past year, multiple Right to Work efforts (aka the Public Employee Freedom Act) have been unleashed at the city and county level in Kentucky, Illinois and other states in efforts to weaken the voices and benefits of America’s middle class. Other harmful legislation that ALEC is pushing this year is the "Public Employee Paycheck Protection Act" and the “Prohibition on Paid Union Activity (Release Time) by Public Employees Act," which are extremely disruptive to labor. Public employee pensions have also been targeted by ALEC with its “Defined Contribution Pension Reform Act,” an effort to cut public employee pensions.
At the spring discussion, it was rumored that there was a discussion on “Taxpayer Funded Lobbying Disclosure.” It’s ironic that ALEC would host such a session because of all the harmful and deceitful laws that the organization has crafted and helped to pass in state legislatures across the United States at taxpayer expense.
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.
However, as ALEC's recent despicable practices have come into the spotlight, multi-billion dollar businesses such as Microsoft, Google, Coca Cola, Proctor & Gamble, Amazon and Facebook have cut ties to the organization.
We will continue to keep our members informed of any other negative legislation.