Hearing the story of Tom McCabe and his Freedom Foundation based in Washington state fight their battles against the SEIU (Service Employees International Union) might make you laugh, cry or make your blood boil. You could just about making a movie out of it. Regardless, it is all true.
Recently, the Freedom Foundation scored a victory when the courts found in their favor. The SEIU sued them for “tortious interference with business expectancy”. Simply translated that means that the SEIU was mad at Tom McCabe for having the audacity to inform SEIU members and dues payers that they actually had a choice to “opt out” of the union and not have to sacrifice money for their dues. As everybody knows this tidal wave of money fills the coffers of Democrats and liberal causes.
In a recent article by George Will, he laid out the back story:
“Individual providers” (IPs) are home health care workers employed by those receiving the care — often the caregivers’ loved ones — who use their Medicaid stipends to pay the caregivers. In 2003, the Democratic-controlled Illinois state government imperiously declared thousands of these workers to be government employees simply because their pay comes from Medicaid and gave the SEIU and a rival union the names and addresses of the workers to facilitate herding them into a union. The SEIU prevailed, often with duplicitousness, and began collecting a portion of the Medicaid payments as dues.
In 2014, the Supreme Court wisely found that these providers have something called “freedom of speech” and don’t have to financially support a union with which they don’t agree with politically. So, the Freedom Foundation began informing them of their right to opt out. That is where the pain comes in- the total lost revenue to SEIU from those folks walking away was $20.2 million in 2016 alone.
State agencies that are supposed to get the public lists of these providers to those that request them quickly really did a number on Tom McCabe’s team- sometimes taking over 800 days to return old lists to them. However, they forged on and soon helped about 10,000 folks walk away. The SEIU lawyers came in full force, deposing his staff 15 times and running up a legal bill of over $1.5 million in an attempt to bankrupt them. In addition, the SEIU sent nasty mailers to Tom’s neighbors telling them that he is “anti- LGBT” and basically the spawn of Satan.
Thankfully, his neighbors of 28 years know better and the Supreme Court could swing this battle even further in 2018. They will take up the case of Janus v. AFSCME where they could likely affirm the 2014 ruling that those that are less than full-fledged government workers cannot be forced to be part of the union.
If you can hear that giant sucking sound- that is the echo of money draining out of the SEIU’s budget. You have one person to thank for it and it is Tom McCabe of the Freedom Foundation in Washington.