We believe that strong unions are the best force for a fair economy and a just society. That’s why you and I and thousands of other union members and staff work so hard every day to strengthen our union. And it’s exactly why our opponents are willing to spend millions to weaken unions.
We were angered — but not surprised — to learn that an out-of-state union-busting special interest group has begun targeting the members of IBEW 1245 at SMUD and other public sector properties. The group, which calls itself “California Empowered,” is being bankrolled by the notorious Mackinac Center, a Michigan-based anti-union think tank that’s funded by a small but powerful group of corporate cronies who would like nothing more than to see all unions become a thing of the past.
Over the holidays, these out-of-state opponents of labor began harassing our members at home with a manipulative and disingenuous message about dropping union membership. They claim, “you can stop paying dues and still get all the benefits of the union contract.” But we know the truth – union dues allow IBEW 1245 to have the resources we need to bargain top-notch wages and benefits, uphold and defend our union contracts, and fight for our members when they’ve been wronged by their employers. If these opponents can trick enough members into dropping their union membership, we will no longer have those critical resources, and our union will become weaker – exactly as they intended.
Don’t be fooled by these “California Empowered” representatives. The best way to hold on to the outstanding wages and benefits afforded to you by your union contract is to remain a dedicated and active member of the union.
If you are contacted by California Empowered, let them know that you’re sticking with the union – and let your Business Rep or a member of the Volunteer Organizing Committee know right away. Together, we are stronger than any union-busting outfit will ever be.
–Tom Dalzell, IBEW 1245 Business Manager