The Florida House has approved a measure taking away union bargaining rights if less than half its members pay dues. The bill’s Republican sponsor Scott Plakon of Longwood says it’s unfair for as little as 5 percent of workers to decide for everyone.
But Rep. Amy Mercado (D-Orlando) questions his logic.
“I take issue with that statement and that description,” Mercado says, “as we as a body of 160 total members represent 20 million Floridians—which means in other words we are less than one percent making decisions for 99+ percent.”
At a press conference after the floor session, the Plakon pushed back.
“We in each of our districts are elected by each,” Plakon says, “Here you have, using my example of 5 percent, you have the other 95 percent don’t even care enough to pay dues.”
“So I don’t think that that’s a good analogy—might be a good talking point, sounds good—but I don’t think it’s apples to apples.”
Because Florida is a right to work state, paying dues is optional. Democrats argue the measure is aimed at undermining left-leaning unions like teachers. The bill wouldn’t apply to organizations representing police, firefighter or corrections officers.