Members not falling for anti-union campaign

Posted Jan. 29, 2024 by

Members aren’t falling for anti-union campaign with far-fetched narrative, promises of big “payoff”


Freedom Foundation is at it again. The anti-union group, under its Ohio pseudonym “Opt Out Ohio,” is kicking off the New Year by spamming OCSEA members’ work email boxes yet again.

In their recent emails, they used what is most likely a fake member anecdote and lies attempting to get members to drop their union. But OCSEA members aren’t falling for it. Many have reported the spam emails, unsubscribed or are just ignoring the propaganda altogether. Others are using it as an opportunity to share the truth about the dangers of union busting with their colleagues.

In one round of spam emails, the extremist group claims that someone named "Nina" is proud of having dropped her union so she can save “X” amount of dollars in union dues a year. “We doubt ‘Nina’ even really exists, but what we DO know is that a union, and the benefits that come with a union voice, is worth its weight in gold. You can’t put a price on that. It’s always better when we do it TOGETHER!” said OCSEA President Chris Mabe.

“I feel sorry for ‘Nina’ that she won’t be able to experience the power that comes with being union and knowing that thousands of brothers and sisters have her back, and she has theirs,” said OCSEA Secretary-Treasurer Kathy Gersper.

Of course, this is hardly OCSEA members’ first bout with the group. The special interest group, funded by wealthy billionaire donors who have a lot to gain, literally, by busting unions, has been at this for years with little to show for it. Behind their "Opt Out Today” smoke screen, the "Freedom" Foundation has spent millions and millions to deceive public employees about their true intentions: dismantling public services, cutting employee wages, and depleting public pensions. They don’t care about you, your family, the size of your paycheck or how union benefits make your life better.

But members like Matt Campbell, an OCSEA member from northeast Ohio, aren’t falling for Freedom Foundation’s lies. Matt says what they are trying to do is obvious. “Everybody has a motive, and Freedom Foundation’s is about weakening unions,” said Matt. “The overarching goal of ‘opting out’ is to break the union. Why do you think they are trying so hard for us to not pay?” he asked. Matt says groups like Freedom Foundation are simply about lining their donors’ back pockets and not looking out for workers.

Matt says the only thing someone might gain from opting out is “being a freeloader,” which means they would get all the benefits of being union off the backs of hard-working union members who pay their fair share.

Matt knows from experience that if the union falls, “it will be so much worse than how bad you think it is now.” Matt says having worked 13 years in the private sector with no union, he sees the union difference. “I guess I just have a different perspective,” said Matt who has now worked for the State of Ohio for another 13 years. “What I had then is nothing compared to what I have now,” he said. That includes a voice when it comes to wages, benefits, schedules, safety at work, leave time and so much more.

As an Environmental Specialist 2 for the Ohio EPA, Matt says he understands firsthand the importance of public service. In emission testing observations, he works hard to make sure our air is safe to breathe, and companies are in compliance with laws that protect us all. It’s public services like these that the Freedom Foundation aims to destroy, because there’s always more money to be made in “self regulation," says Matt, especially when compliance is directly tied to a private entity’s bottom line.

All across Ohio, disingenuous, anti-union organizations like this are worming their way into Ohio politics. These organizations are funded by out-of-state billionaires with an agenda! They lobby for anti-worker bills like Right to Work (for Less) and against collective bargaining rights and prevailing wage. Their aggressive campaigns aim to trick workers into giving up their rights by lying to them.

“It’s an ongoing battle, and they may think they are being sneaky, but we are always watching,” said OCSEA Vice President Rocky Jolly. “And our members are watching too, and they know better!”

Learn more about the Freedom Foundation lies and REAL agenda at

The REAL anti-union agenda:

Freedom Foundation and Opt Out Ohio propaganda boasts about "liberating" workers from unions. But their real agenda is to paralyze governments, eliminate public jobs, and decrease worker pay and benefits. See their REAL Wish List below or click HERE to learn more:

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