It might be surprising that a union leader wouldn’t want her members to have the choice to do better at their job – after all, that’s what they are supposed to be negotiating for, right? Instead, in a recent article, the president of a local Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Sterling Harders, said she won’t accept any reductions to the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services budget. Harders, who wants to see new taxes to fill the SEIU’s coffers, calls any attempt to balance the state budget responsibly as an indication of systemic racism.
If it sounds like a familiar argument from the Looney Left, it is. When the Left can‘t get their way, they stomp their feet, set fire to neighborhoods and start playing the race card on people that disagree with them, calling them racists and bigots.
The SEIU is still upset about a workers’ rights lawsuit that organized labor lost a few years ago at the U.S. Supreme Court, Janus vs AFSCME. The Janus decision gave rights back to workers, allowing them to choose to join a union, or not to join and use their dues money as they wish. Prior to the Janus decision, unions could force a worker to pay dues to the union, even if they were not a member of the union, or if they didn’t agree with how the union was spending their money.
Since the Janus decision, the SEIU has seen a precipitous drop in membership, as union members realize they don’t need to pay for the bloated union bureaucracy and for union bosses making six-figure salaries and still stealing dues money. A flurry of lawsuits have eroded the union’s bankroll, and Sterling Harders is looking for new money before someone asks about cutting the $135,000+ she makes.
The SEIU has been trying for years to force people to join the union who simply want to care for a member of their own family in their own home. When Johnny or Sally want to stay home and take care of mom, the SEIU says that’s illegal unless you pay them the extortionate union dues they require. Legislative Democrats are all too willing to help in this scam, resulting in some truly sleazy and unconstitutional law, including a bill that the entire Washington State House Republican caucus walked off the floor in disgust rather than vote for the putrid policy, a first for the State.
Harders is just another scared union hack worried about keeping her own job, because her union can’t demonstrate enough value to keep from hemorrhaging members. The problem she cannot solve, and never will, is preventing union members from leaving when they realize there is little benefit in paying for the privilege to be part of the union.
Facing uncontrollable union decline, Harders has done what all unions do, turning to friendly government officials for a handout. The unions favorite sugar daddy, Democrat Governor Jay Inslee, is all too happy to help with backroom deals for his friends, giving them extra vacation days and pay increases when everyone else is losing their jobs and receiving pay cuts because of Inslee’s random lockdown mandates.
Spoiler alert: The SEIU gives union dues money to Democrat political candidates – like Inslee – so the Democrats will vote to force working people into unions, so the unions have more money to give to Democrat campaigns.
It’s what liberals call a “virtuous circle”.
This time however, the state budget is facing a multi-billion-plus deficit in the general fund alone in the next 32 months, and there needs to be smart reductions in state spending – and holding the line on new increases – to balance the books. These little details don’t bother Harders, she just wants more money, and she wants it now. Using the usual Democrat fear tactic and brazen lie that 10,000s of workers will lose their jobs unless you do what they say, Harders demands the ‘frozen’ Washington legislature stand up to racism – because in her mind that’s why the union is short of members’ dues.
It hasn’t occurred to Harders that the money that pays for DSHS services comes from taxing hard-working people who are stuck at home, or just recently released from lockdown, because Jay Inslee closed their businesses in March.
Harders shows no shame. In the midst of a pandemic, the SEIU president wants more taxes, more government spending, and less choice for her forced union members, the caregivers in Washington.
And if you don’t agree, you are a racist. She said so.