July 6, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 6, 2017
On June 29, Washington state-based think tank the Freedom Foundation filed a lawsuit against the union representing California home care workers, United Domestic Workers of America (UDW/AFSCME Local 3930).
Filed on behalf of a former UDW member in Orange County, the suit “reveals the Freedom Foundation’s true goal: dismantling progressive power and the organizations that work to defend working Americans,” UDW Executive Director Doug Moore said.
Freedom Foundation’s CEO, Tom McCabe, echoed this statement in a recent fundraising letter to potential donors in California. “There is simply no more consequential political battle today than the fight against public-sector unions,” he said.
The lawsuit is just one of many tactics being employed by the Freedom Foundation to disempower caregivers – including harassing workers in their homes, taking out ads, and urging home care workers to leave their union.
“In spite of Freedom Foundation’s best efforts, our members have not been deterred,” said Moore. “They know the value of their union – and their rights. Time and again we have successfully fought back against dangerous cuts to home care, and recent victories include overtime pay and paid sick leave for our members.”
Toni Monique Taloa – who, like the plaintiff, also lives and works in Orange County – cares for her sister Tonya, who was born with hydrocephalus and lives with epilepsy and heart disease. The state’s In-Home Supportive Services program (IHSS) pays Taloa to care for her sister, and her union helps protect the program that keeps Tonya safe.
“Without UDW, I couldn’t afford to care for my sister,” Taloa said.
In one of many successful advocacy actions, UDW helped Taloa fight for more hours of care for her grandmother, whom she had cared for previously. The win allowed her to “sleep more than two hours a night and hire another part-time provider to help out. The union gave me back my life.”
“The Freedom Foundation is going after who they think is most vulnerable,” continued Moore. “Our workers are a majority women and people of color. They make close to minimum wage for the vital care they provide. And they care for our state’s poorest seniors and people with disabilities.
Why is a billionaire-backed organization going after our workers? What does that say about the Freedom Foundation’s values?”
“They say they are fighting for freedom,” Taloa added, “well, we should have freedom to put food on the table, food in our stomachs, transportation, and a roof over our heads. That’s freedom.”
# # #
United Domestic Workers of America (UDW)/AFSCME Local 3930 is a home care union made up of nearly 100,000 in-home caregivers across the state of California. UDW caregivers provide care through the state’s In-Home Supportive Services program (IHSS), which allows over half a million California seniors and people with disabilities to stay safe and healthy at home. More information about the Freedom Foundation can be found at www.FreedomFoundationFactCheck.com.
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