Reports indicate that thousands of Colorado state employees received AFSCME (American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO) union membership cards in the mail yesterday. Many of them are wondering just why they received them, as they never signed up to join any union — especially not one that is spending plenty of member dues money to shill for the unpopular Obama Care socialized medicine fiasco.
AFSCME is one of three partner unions (SEIU and AFT are the others) that joined together to form the Colorado WINS organizing coalition but a few days after Bill Ritter signed an executive order opening the doors of state government to unionization. According to Section 12, page 9, of the Colorado WINS organizing agreement (PDF):
All members of Colorado WINS shall be members of SEIU, AFT and AFSCME.
As commenter (and presumably Colorado state employee) Eldon wrote on this post of mine: “I received a afscme membership card today. What the H— is this. I never joined any union, and voted against the union. Is this happening to anyone else??” Eldon, did it look like this?
And did it come with a letter like this?
The membership card and the letter leave us with a series of questions:
- Why is AFSCME sending membership cards to many Colorado state employees who never signed up to join a union (and while addressing them as “Dear AFSCME Member”)? (one comment forwarded to me from an employee said: “I called my payroll person and he said that human resources send him a list every month of people to make deductions for dues.. but that I have not been on any list as of yet .. I told him if he does get my name on a list to call me.. BECAUSE I DO NOT WANT THEM TO GET DUES from me..”)
- Why is AFSCME advertising a “2008-09” union membership that would last no longer than the next seven weeks?
- Why is AFSCME advertising itself to state employees separately from Colorado WINS and its other organizing partners — SEIU and AFT?
I’m sure there are more questions. But these are just the first three that popped into my head. I know of at least two workers who have contacted AFSCME headquarters and/or the local field representative to get more answers. You can be sure I’ll follow up on it here.
Until then, maybe the Denver Post can pick up on this story, too.