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AFSCME Florida members say union-busting bill will not silence them

Photo credit: AFSCME Florida Facebook
AFSCME Florida members say union-busting bill will not silence them
By Mark McCullough ·

MIAMI – Anti-worker Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law a union-busting bill this week, but AFSCME Florida members remain undaunted.  

In addition to requiring most public sector unions to maintain 60% dues payment rates, SB 256 requires anti-union language to be added to their membership cards, outlaws their right to receive dues via paycheck deductions, requires them to undertake costly auditing procedures, and more.  

But AFSCME members across Florida are determined to push back against efforts by DeSantis and his anti-worker allies in the legislature to silence workers.  

“Freedom has always been earned from the bottom up,” AFSCME Florida President and AFSCME International Vice President Vicki Hall said in a statement on Tuesday after DeSantis signed the bill. “That is why we believe the collective voice of workers will overcome SB 256’s goal of silencing Florida’s dedicated public workers by stripping them of their freedom to speak up collectively and their right to join a union.” 

“Make no mistake, today is not the end, it is the start of the next chapter in our fight for justice, equality and freedom at work,” Hall said.  

Members are now pivoting to an intensive internal organizing effort to sign every eligible worker, including existing members, onto new membership cards. 

“Governor DeSantis signed this anti-worker legislation in a shameless attempt to curry favor with MAGA Republicans in a presidential primary,” said Hall. “He is trying to break us, but we will show that while extremist politicians come and go, our basic rights can never be erased.” 

Three AFSCME locals in South Florida, together with a member from each, filed a lawsuit seeking to block the statute from taking effect the very same day that it was signed by the governor. Filed in state court, the lawsuit argues that SB 256 violates the state Constitution, which explicitly protects the right to collective bargaining in its Declaration of Rights. 

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