Vermont Firefighter Punches Back!

September 4, 2019


An official with the National Right-To-Work Foundation (based in Virginia) polluted some Vermont online and newspaper commentary pages this past weekend with a column demonizing unions and parroting corporate America’s anti-union talking points. In response, Vermont firefighter Christopher Maloney punched back in the following commentary that published this morning in the Times Argus:

The Perspective piece Mark Mix of the National Right To Work Committee in the weekend edition of the Argus pretty much served to confirm what I’ve known all along, that they are owned, bag and baggage, by conservative interests bent on making sure U.S. labor is paid cheaply and used thoroughly.

The scree Mix continues to mouth about how union labor is out to bankrupt the American worker by making nonunion workers pay union dues, is ridiculous and easy to disprove, should anyone pick up a calculator.

In his commentary, Mix states the nonunion worker makes $4,500 more a year than the union worker. This amounts to about the cost of maximum weekly union dues (depending on the union) over a year’s time. Not included in Mix’s calculations are the gained insurances, pension, improved working conditions and other considerations made possible by labor negotiations. Is that worth a union due? I think it is.

What Mix also fails to communicate is those agency fees for nonunion workers in Vermont are, for the most part, at a reduced rate. So the nonunion worker still enjoys the benefits of a negotiated contract and pays less for the privilege. They do not get to participate in voting or labor talks, but they will always have the chance to do so, should they choose to join.

The National Right to Work Committee is simply a shill for corporations bent on making the most money at the expense of the American citizen and a living wage. In the past several years, this very well-funded organization has spread disinformation calculated to chip away at the American workers’ rights to negotiate a fair wage and safe work environment. Don’t believe the inflammatory hype, do the research yourself before being overtaken by the current corporate monoliths that would love to steamroll us all into compliant little pancakes.

Christopher Maloney is a member of IAFF Local 3702. He lives in Washington.

Note: Thanks Brother Maloney. You speak the truth.

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