The Freedom Foundation cut the ribbon on its new Salem, Ore., office on Thursday afternoon and within an hour was doing what it does best – making life miserable for government employee unions.
At a press conference in the Oregon State Capitol Building, Freedom Foundation General Counsel James Abernathy announced the organization had filed a lawsuit against SEIU 503 and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown alleging the union – with the state’s blessing – continues to deduct dues and representation fees from individual home care workers a year after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled such “schemes” were illegal.
“SEIU 503 doesn’t let a little thing like the Constitution stand in between it and its money,” Abernathy said.
The suit was filed on behalf of Bend resident Julian Brown, who receives a Medicaid subsidy for caring for his father. Brown never wanted to be a union member and opted out of the union in 2014 following the Harris v. Quinn ruling, but the union continued its efforts to deduct his dues involuntarily.
“It should be common sense in this country that a private organization cannot force you to pay for its activities unless you choose to do so,” he said.
The lawsuit, similar to litigation the Freedom Foundation has filed for caregivers in Washington, is the first step in what the organization believes will make it a truly regional force in the battle to free state governments from the grip of labor abuses.