'Stop at Nothing' Plan to Destroy Nation's Union Power Includes $80 Million Koch- and Walmart-Funded War Chest

September 20, 2020 0 By HearthstoneYarns

Less than a week after Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) unveiled legislation to strengthen trade unions across the United States, a new report reveals that a network of right-wing think tanks—funded by the billionaire Koch Brothers and the heirs to the Walmart fortune—has launched a nationwide campaign to destroy labor groups and undermine American workers’ rights.

The purpose of the campaign—which boasts an $80 million war chest—is “to persuade public-sector trade union members to tear up their membership cards and stop paying dues, posing a direct threat to the progressive movement in America,” according to the Guardian, which obtained internal documents detailing the group’s primary goal of “permanently depriving the left from access to millions of dollars in dues extracted from unwilling union members every election cycle.”

The campaign is the product of the State Policy Network (SPN), an alliance of 66 think tanks spread across the country. The documents include a “toolkit” in which SPN offers “advice to its followers on how to go about fomenting ‘union reform’—a euphemism for draining unions of members and cash,” the Guardian reports. The toolkit also outlines four “tactics” for depleting union power, including the opt-out direct-marketing campaign.

“Well run opt-out campaigns can cause public-sector unions to experience 5 to 20 percent declines in membership, costing hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars in dues money,” SPN claims in the documents. “This can affect the resources and attention available for union leaders to devote to political action campaigns.”

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