The True Spirit Behind “Paycheck Protection”

 

It was written that George III was determined “never to acknowledge the independence of the Americans, and to punish their contumacy by the indefinite prolongation of a war which promised to be eternal.”The King wanted to “keep the rebels harassed, anxious, and poor, until the day when, by a natural and inevitable process, discontent and disappointment were converted into penitence and remorse.” (1)

It appears the same spirit of unbridled tyranny that drove the colonies into outright rebellion has yet to be extinguished. The latest incarnation comes veiled as “Paycheck Protection”, a diabolically devious Trojan Horse that portrays the relentless efforts of the privileged few to silence the many as a long needed vehicle to free the voice of the very working class citizens it’s sole purpose is intended to suppress…

These ambiguous efforts at implied legitimacy are based entirely on half truths and lies of omission. Consider, a 2014 poll by SP&R, commissioned by Commonwealth Foundation, an action arm of ALAC (primarily funded from outside of Pennsylvania) that sampled less than .004% of PA’s registered voters, conveniently ignoring that a full 6% is the minimum benchmark for scientific legitimacy.(2) These corporate sponsored groups developed “paycheck protection” legislation for unions – but vigorously resisted similar proposed rules for the corporate interests they represent. e.g.:

In 2011, ten states considered bills that would have required corporations to get shareholder approval for political donations – the corporate equivalent of “paycheck protection”. A report from Missouri shows that ALEC lobbied hard against the bills, arguing that it would “undermine the very purpose of the First Amendment.”

ALEC argued that these “paycheck protection” laws for corporations would “deter [corporations] from participating in political debate.” ALEC also insisted that shareholders’ approval of political donations is unnecessary because “shareholders always have the option of voting out board members and removing management who engage in independent expenditures contrary to the interests of the company and its owners.”

ALEC even admitted that these types of approval schemes “place an onerous burden on these organizations, which serves as a barrier to free speech and is in violation of… the First Amendment.”

Clearly, this same argument holds true for unions and their duly elected leadership. This is nothing more than a corporate backed scheme to eventually obliterate the First Amendment Rights of the working class by starving every union of the funds necessary to negotiate, administrate and defend their members collective bargaining agreements and rights.

Like them or not, Labor Unions are the only truegrass roots organizations that allow for the US Constitution and Bill of Rights to cross over the threshold of corporate America and this corporate body politic has determined to forever silence labors voice..

Now consider the latest clarion call from a well stocked arsenal of deceptive sound bites “No other organization, business or club has the power to use public assets for political purposes and to collect money directly out of paychecks.” Paycheck protection is about morality, not cost.”(3)

This latest preposterously self-righteous and disingenuous political proclamation conveniently avoids the very organizations these ardent proponents belong to. The Pennsylvania State House and Senate…

Every penny of their salary and benefits is funded by state income taxes, electronically or otherwise deducted from every wage earner in the Commonwealth and are uniquely, exclusively and entirely used for political purposes, that is, to champion the political issues of constituents or, as it appears in this case, the expressed political strategy and agenda of special interests within their political party.

Any “moral” position that violates one spiritual principle as justification to “uphold” another has no Truth in its fabric nor God as it’s foundation. True men and woman of principle are always willing to lead by example so I would respectfully suggest a remedy for their oversight. Introduce legislation or constitutional amendment that extinguishes the collection of that portion of state income taxes used to fund their own salaries and benefits on the very same “principle” that it originates from electronic deductions, “using public assets for political purposes” and abandon the “do as I say and not as I do” code of ethics practiced by sons of tyranny from time immemorial..

This, I am certain will never happen for the authors of this initiative are well aware that to individually bill constituents for services rendered as they demand public and eventually private unions should do would be so overly cumbersome, time consuming and burdensome that no reasonable person would never demand it of another. Unless, that is, they possessed the ambiguous ethics of a chosen few who’s openly stated purpose is to “starve the giant” while they lay siege to the families who have come together for mutual aid and protection against that other “giant,” collectively known as corporate greed and personal avarice…

The total annual cost for public-sector Union payroll deductions amounts to $100… That’s $100 out of Pennsylvania’s $24,000,000,000 budget.(4) But this is really a non-issue given that payments instantaneously become the property of the men and women who earned them the very instant those wages are recorded as payment due for labor performed or services rendered and that miniscule amount has already been negotiated, just as are all wages and benefits contained in a collective bargaining agreement.

As a union officer, 10% of my salary is indeed dedicated to political activities and reported as such to the IRS yet that portion of compensation and all other political expenditure is used as a basis to reduce “fair share payers” or as they are known in the IBEW “agency fee payer” dues. It simply doesn’t get any fairer than that…

Any attempt to join what clearly appears to be a politically motivated strategic war plan under a false flag of moral and spiritual righteousness does no service to the Author of those spiritual laws nor the authors of that plan. Any claim of exemption from those very same principals by reason of an inferred privileged position is, well.. to be polite, misguided and no different than any other virulent act of discrimination that targets a group based upon race, national origin, color or creed.

One final comment to the champions of this “moral crusade” and the men behind the curtain. On a level playing field it is all of society, not a self-appointed “chosen” few, that determines whether our trades or professions should provide a form of compensation that enables us to continue on in society’s service. The desire to provide for ourselves and our families’ needs and comfort while in that service is nothing to be ashamed of or to avoid for it is a God given right.

I’m certainly not a saint and all organizations have varying amounts of chaff mixed in with the wheat. That being said, it might be wise to consider 1 Timothy 5:18 “For the Scripture sayeth, Thou shall not muzzle the ox that treadeth out thy corn. And the laborer is worthy of his reward” rather than be exposed to Malachi 3:5 “And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me saith the Lord of hosts.”

George III believed his position placed him above these Words and died with even the faintest glimmer of his former station consumed by the demons of permanent insanity. My fervent hope and prayer is that all deeply consider the full counsel of God as they and their honorable peers contemplate their responsibilities to all of the people of Pennsylvania.

 

 

Emil Meyer

President / Business Manager

Local Union # 614, IBEW

 

IBEW, LU 614 represents every trade in PECO Energy’s six (6) county electric and gas service territory, Exelon Generation LLC and Violia Energy, which operates the “intercity steam loop” and generation stations in Center City Philadelphia being responsible for delivering and maintaining the vital energy needs of our neighbors and their businesses, in both fair weather and foul.

 

                      

             

 

                        1    1   History of the American Revolution: Sir George Trevelyan, 2nd Baronet

               2 https://cdn.americanprogressaction.org/wp-content/uploads/issues/2011/04/pdf/koch_brothers.pdf

               3 Taken from my discussion with Rep. Cutler in his office January, 28, 2014

                          4  Pennsylvania spends less than $100 a year to deduct dues for public-sector union employees, according to the state Treasury. Gary Tuma, a spokesman with the Treasury, called the PA Independent on Friday afternoon to challenge Brouillette’s sweeping statement. Tuma said the state also deducts contributions foreverything from charitable causes to support orders pertaining toemployees.“There are literally hundreds,” Tuma said.  It costs 71 cents each time the Treasury cuts a dues check to unions, Tuma said Thursday. Doing that for seven payrolls each month costs about $60, but the Treasury rounded up to less than $100 to account for disbursements done more than once a month, Andrew Staub is an investigative reporter for Watchdog.org based in central Pennsylvania. astaub@watchdog.org

 

 

 

 

 

 


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