The Republican Workers Action Group, which bills itself as a collection of Florida Republican union members, is opposing GOP-led changes to union dues in the state.
“We are among more than 300,000 Republican members of employee unions in the State of Florida whose freedoms and rights would be negatively affected by Senate Bill 1014 and House Bill 835,” read a statement from the group.
“We ask our fellow Republicans in the House and Senate, as well as the Governor, to put a stop to this legislation. The legislation serves one purpose, which is to make it harder for us to have our voices heard by government. As Republicans, we believe we should be free to organize as we choose, without big government interference. And we should not be singled out for discriminatory practices not imposed on members of other organizations. We hope our fellow Republicans will agree our voices are not less worthy of representation before it is too late.”
The legislation requires public employees seeking to join a union to sign a form acknowledging they are not required to do so, nor are they required to pay union dues. The bill also blocks some unions from taking dues straight from members’ paychecks, among other changes.
“As a Republican, I am asking Republicans in Tallahassee for help,” said Dr. Reese Cargioli, a Miami doctor and member of the Republican Action Group. “The legislation picks and chooses who will be saddled with these new burdens. Republican lawmakers must uphold our Republican and American values. Don’t pass legislation that would deem some Republicans worth more than others.”
Republicans have framed the legislation as increasing the rights of workers who don’t want to be boxed into joining a union. But Chad Purdy, a Tampa electrician, argued the bill doesn’t accomplish that goal.
“In recent years, the Republican Party has stood up for the working class — this legislation does the opposite,” Purdy said. “We want our voices heard loudly by Republican leaders in Florida government: we oppose Senate Bill 1014 and House Bill 835.”