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FL House Approves Bill That Could Undermine Unions

Rep. Scott Plakon (R-Longwood)
Mark Foley via FL House website
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Rep. Scott Plakon (R-Longwood)
Rep. Scott Plakon (R-Longwood)
Credit Mark Foley via FL House website
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Rep. Scott Plakon (R-Longwood)

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.

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Nick Evans came to Tallahassee to pursue a masters in communications at Florida State University. He graduated in 2014, but not before picking up an internship at WFSU. While he worked on his degree Nick moved from intern, to part-timer, to full-time reporter. Before moving to Tallahassee, Nick lived in and around the San Francisco Bay Area for 15 years. He listens to far too many podcasts and is a die-hard 49ers football fan. When Nick’s not at work he likes to cook, play music and read.
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