Grays Harbor County Board Sides with Workers Over Freedom Foundation

This week, the Grays Harbor County Board of Commissioners sided with workers when they denied a motion to open union employment negotiations to the public. As the Daily World reported, “With 30 people speaking total, 21 were opposed to the resolution… Some 75 people were in attendance. Based on applause after each public comment, only a handful or so of the crowd (maybe 10 people) supported the resolution.”

Make no mistake: for years, right-wing extremists and out-of-state billionaires have been chipping away at workers’ rights, opposing minimum wage increases, denying earned sick time, and creating corporate tax loopholes. This resolution is just their latest attempt to silence workers and limit their ability to have a voice to advocate for higher wages when they collectively come together. If these organizations were really interested in transparency, they wouldn’t just be targeting individual employees advocating for fair wages. They would also be advocating for all contracts to be open to the public, including those with businesses getting substantial tax breaks.

The organization behind this scheme to hinder workers’ rights is a group that operates in three states, including California, and is funded by out-of-state billionaires. The Freedom Foundation has ties to ALEC, the national organization that was behind the controversial “stand your ground” laws that allowed George Zimmerman to go free after killing Trayvon Martin, and is aligned with the Koch brothers-funded State Policy Network. In fact, Freedom Foundation staffer Matthew Hayward bragged that the Freedom Foundation came up with a draft resolution and shared it with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) to foist upon other unsuspecting local governments.

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Interestingly, resolution sponsor Wes Cormier “noted he brought the resolution forward of his own volition and was not lobbied by the Freedom Foundation.” However, when you look at the Grays Harbor resolution next to the Freedom Foundation’s draft resolution, the similarities are striking. In fact, the only thing clearer than the fact that Cormier’s resolution originated from the Freedom Foundation is that Cormier was afraid to admit it. It seems that the robust turnout at the meeting demonstrated how much the Freedom Foundation is a liability for politicians who intend to represent their constituents.

This is just another example of a failed initiative put forth by the Freedom Foundation.