The In These Times article, written by Mary Bottari of the Center for Media Democracy, is entitled “Behind Janus: Documents Reveal Decade-Long Plot to Kill Public-Sector Unions.” Janus refers to the case currently before the Supreme Court, Janus v. AFSCME. The plaintiff challenges union security—the right of unions to collect “fair share” fees for collective bargaining from bargaining-unit workers who have chosen not to join the union. This opting out, known also as freeloading, means fewer union resources are available to unions to represent workers, file grievances and bargain with employers. Meanwhile, these workers benefit from wage gains, benefits and working conditions won by the union.
Both news articles describe how the State Policy Network, a nationwide alliance of 66 think tanks and some 87 other groups, has developed a toolkit on opting out. Bankrolling SPN are billionaires such as the Koch brothers, the Walton family—owners of Wal-Mart—and other rightwing high rollers.
SPN coordinates its union-busting efforts with two other far-right behemoths heavily financed by the Koch brothers, the American Legislative Exchange Council and Americans for Prosperity. These groups have been working for decades in statehouses and in Congress to realize the aim of one of its far-right leaders, Grover Norquist, who declared, “Our goal is to shrink government to the size where we can drown it in a bathtub.”