By Sahid Fawaz
The GOP is at it again, attacking the Sunshine State's labor unions.
"During this year's state legislative session, a bill transparently designed to cripple labor unions came close enough to passing that Florida public schoolteachers had to go on a PR blitz to beg lawmakers not to rip their rights away. Teachers, nurses, housekeepers, and every other union-protected industry breathed a sigh of relief when the measure failed during the 2017 legislative session — but the bill has been revived verbatim for 2018 and yesterday passed through its first voting hurdle toward becoming law.
The bill, HB 25, strips collective bargaining power from unions that can't get 50 percent of their workforce to enroll, thus preventing unions from negotiating for health-care plans or paid time off. The bill is so transparently designed as an attack on Democratic-leaning labor organizations that it specifically exempts police, corrections, and firefighters' unions from the new regulations.
Statewide unions sounded the alarm about the bill yesterday morning, mere hours before the House Government Accountability Committee voted on HB 25. Their complaints ultimately proved meaningless: The bill advanced 14 votes to nine. (The measure faces a rougher ride through the state Senate, but in deep-red Tallahassee, anything is possible as long as it's cruel and mean to the working class and the poor.)
'Tallahassee is attacking us again,' the United Teachers of Dade, Miami-Dade County's public teachers' union, posted on Facebook yesterday. 'HB 25, same as last year's HB 11, is up for a vote today. HB 25 would decertify unions with less than 50 percent dues-paying members. Decertification = loss of contract and loss of contractual rights ($ and work conditions). Please call 855-235-2469 ASAP and urge them to vote NO on HB 25.'
For the rest of the story, check out the piece at the Miami New Times here.