Sunday, April 10, 2011

Florida Chamber of Commerce Thinks We're Stupid: Runs Ad Saying Teachers/Firefighters HATE Their Unions!

Imagine how this would go over in Madison: An ad featuring Scott Walker, surrounded by fake teachers, saying collective bargaining actually hurts them and needs your help fighting their evil unions. That would be funny, right?

Conservatives would have to be out of their mind to try something like that-- Something to convince people that public employees actually hate their unions.

Welcome to Florida:

Thank you FL Chamber of Commerce for stepping up! Every time Scott Walker does something stupid, I usually count on Rick Scott to up the ante. But you stepped in this time. Way to represent! This is MY STUPID STATE Beee-yotch!!! In your face WI!

The Florida Chamber of Commerce is running this ad all across our state because firefighters, police and teachers are still very popular here. (Hey, its not like they could feature the real people who want these union-busting measures to pass.)
So the FL CoC sees nothing wrong hiring FAKE firefighters, police and teachers for an ad favoring a union-busting measure that will help decimate benefits and protections for... REAL firefighters, police, and teachers.

The bill in the ad is quickly moving its way through our right-wing legislature. It explicity FORBIDS a state employee from VOLUNTARILY deducting money from thier paycheck to a union. (So much for "deregulation".)

Even though here in Florida, no employee has to join a union or pay dues (which the ad disingenuously implies). Even though less than 6% of our workers belong to any union, public or private. Even though the public employees of this state WANT the convenience of being able to deduct their dues from their paychecks, as they are allowed to deduct anything else in every other instance.

This is all about silencing the working class, period. But the GOP legislators can't even think up a good excuse to push this bill through. The senate sponsor, Sen. Thrasher, tried to say that the paycheck deduction is about costing the state money, which is a lie. His house co-sponsor, Chris Dorworth, even admits that cost has nothing to do with it. They tried some argument about fairness, but that doesn't fly either. Corporations will still be able to deduct money from employees’ paychecks for corporate political action committees, which can then donate funds to candidates hand-picked by the company executives.

Unions are speaking out against this type of "help". The Florida State Fraternal Order of Police:

The Florida Chamber of Commerce aired a TV commercial using actors as police and fire officers against the payroll deduction for unions. The Chamber has been supporting the anti-union bills under consideration. This being the last straw, the Florida State Lodge cancelled our membership in the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce and demanded a full refund of our dues.

The Florida CoC is going to be very busy. There are dozens of anti-worker bills that they have been asked to support. Besides eliminating the allowance of paycheck deductions, here is a sample of some others:

  • Bill to cut workers’ pensions
  • Bill to cancel tenure for teachers
  • Bill to shut workers out of politics
  • Bill to force public-sector unions out of existence, unless a union can show more than 50 percent membership in a workplace, each and every year.

    At the very least, I hope that future ads won't insult my intelligence by trying to say that public employees want any of this crap.

    For my Wisconsin readers: Very first screen on this video-Does that "teacher" at the top look at all familiar? Remember this?. I guess she really did move to Florida! Just kidding...she's as fake as that ad was.
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