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Pro-Union activists using bullhorns and spit interrupted a quiet discussion in Vancouver, Washington, about “right to work” laws that would allow prevent workers from being forced to join unions.
The meeting had been convened by the Cascade Policy Institute of Portland and the Freedom Foundation of Olympia, Washington and was held at Clark College’s Columbia Tech Center in Vancouver, Washington. As the meeting began, the pro-union protestors marched up and down outside, waving picket signs. Eventually, however, they moved inside to harass the participants more directly.
The protestors’ main tactic was to use bullhorns to shout down the meeting attendees. One of the protestors went so far as to spit on Vencent Vernuccio, a labor expert for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy and a keynote speaker.
It took police intervention to remove the protesters. Two of them were arrested for trespassing when they refused to vacate the building.
Steve Buckstein, who founded the Cascade Policy Institute, believes that what happened resulted from the protesters inability to understand that the goal is freedom – implying that, had they understood, they would have been happy to allow the meeting to go forward, or even to participate in it:
“This kind of behavior is most saddening because it shows a real lack of understanding of what Cascade Policy Institute wants for Oregon. We do not seek to end unions or union representation. We simply want all Oregonians to have the right to choose whether or not union membership and representation is something they desire for themselves. All Oregonians deserve that right, even those who reject our efforts. At the end of the day, this is a fight for freedom and justice. No amount of harassment or intimidation will change that fact.
Buckstein is too generous. The union leaders fully understood what’s at stake: worker freedom raises the real possibility that private sector employees will opt out of supporting unions that put their jobs at risk by making unreasonable demands on employers struggling in a fragile economy or that foisted ObamaCare on America, which is slowly destroying full-time jobs. They also understand that union leadership uses worker money to support far Left political causes utterly unrelated to a specific union’s mission. Worker freedom is the last thing the unions and their thugs want.