Don’t be fooled by right-wing efforts to weaken your union

SEATTLE (Feb. 20, 2024) — Last week, the Washington State Nurses Association informed its members of an effort by the Freedom Foundation — a billionaire-funded right-wing organization created to harass and weaken labor unions — to solicit its members and try to convince them to withdraw from the union. Here’s is WSNA’s excellent advice to its members entitled “Don’t Be Fooled.”

Refuse to be harassed

Our WSNA local units have let us know that the so-called “Freedom Foundation” has emailed nurses at the UW Medical Center Montlake and Northwest campuses using an optout.org email address. Opt Out is a campaign in Freedom Foundation’s long-running efforts to curtail worker power and destroy unions. We will not be fooled.

Unfortunately, the state cannot legally stop the Freedom Foundation from getting our names, birthdates, and email addresses, but we can ignore their messages.

The Freedom Foundation wants us to think things would be better if we didn’t have our union or that nothing would change if we just stopped paying our membership dues. That’s just nonsense. Our membership and solidarity with each other are the only things that allows us to speak with one unified voice and achieve contract gains that protect the public, our patients, and our professional lives.

So, who is the Freedom Foundation and why will they try to convince us to give up our union voice?

The Freedom Foundation is, at its core, anti-worker and anti-union. Their goal is to undermine unions so they can implement an extreme agenda that includes cutting health care, pensions and wages of workers, undermining funding and privatizing public services, and attacking the rights of underrepresented communities. The Freedom Foundation’s Opt Out campaign is an attack on workers. Learn more about how Opt Out is working to undermine worker power at: “Opt Out Today” Overview (accountablenw.org)

Freedom Foundation harassment tactics and how you can stop it:

Freedom Foundation operatives have been known to show up at facilities where employees work. They have harassed union members at their homes. They have even gone to the homes of workers and claimed to be a representative of the worker’s union. The good news is that if we are informed and ready, we can stop them and their dirty tricks. Here are some tips to protect yourself if you are contacted by the Freedom Foundation.

Freedom Foundation email harassment and how you can stop them

Contrary to what the so-called Freedom Foundation said in emails targeting WSNA nurses, our active involvement in our union is what keeps us strong. We have negotiated with management agreements that our members have ratified time and again. We need 100% membership and involvement so we can keep pushing, keep advocating, and keep winning at the bargaining table and at the State Legislature for our members and our community. Here are some ways you can block unwanted email from the Freedom Foundation:

  • Reporting email as SPAM or Junk: Outlook and other email servers will often allow you to report messages as spam, which helps to identify and filter similar messages and those from the same sender as spam.
  • Blocking a Message: Another option, if you employer uses Outlook, is to block a message. This option will add the sender of the message to a block list and automatically mark any message from them as junk.
  • FTC Do Not Call Registry: If you receive an unwanted call from the Freedom Foundation you can report it to the FTC’s do not call registry (National Do Not Call Registry).

REMINDER: Do not reply to any email you receive from the Freedom Foundation from your work email. The emails we have seen from the Freedom Foundation to our members invite you to “respond to this email with any questions you might have.” Don’t let them lure you into violating state policy by using your work email to respond.

We are in this together

As union nurses we know we do our best work when we work together and our commitment to each other through our union is no different. Now more than ever we need every nurse to stand together in our union to ensure the best care for our community and the strongest voice for our profession.

Let’s not be fooled or harassed by an organization that aims to destroy our unity and our power.



► From HuffPost (Nov. 6, 2023) — Union says right-wing group used ‘trickery’ to try to get teachers to drop membership — Public school teachers in Ohio recently got some surprising news in the mail: They were due a “credit” from their union. Melissa Cropper, president of the 20,000-member Ohio Federation of Teachers, was listed as the sender of the “CREDIT DUE NOTICE.” All educators had to do was fill out the attached form and mail it back for an apparent refund. Mailers from the Freedom Foundation dangling a dues “credit” looked like they came from a union president. There was just one problem. The notice didn’t actually come from Cropper or the union ― it came from the Freedom Foundation, a conservative group whose mission is to get teachers and other public sector workers to drop their union membership. Anyone who carefully read the form would see that by signing it, a teacher would be authorizing the Freedom Foundation to submit it to their union and employer on their behalf to renounce their membership.


From the archives of The STAND:

The wacky world of the Freedom Foundation (Oct. 10, 2019) — How the anti-union group’s staffers become leaders of Rep. Shea and Friends’ nutty post-apocalyptic “prepper” movement.


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