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  • Writer's pictureLocal 685 Executive Board

Who are the People at The Freedom Foundation? And Why Are They Falsifying Members’ Signatures?

Lately we have been receiving union decertification cards in the mail from members who claim to want to leave our union. When we have called these members, they say they have never signed this card. What is the so-called “Freedom Foundation” up to? It’s time to pull back the curtain so we launched an investigative research project…

While doing some research on the Freedom Foundation, we stumbled on a website called the Accountable Northwest. The information provided gives keen insight into the people who staff the “Freedom Foundation” and the strategy behind signing members’ names to cards saying they are leaving the union, when this is not the truth.

According to their website, Accountable Northwest is an investigative and accountability organization serving as an independent watchdog on the issues that matter most to working families in the Pacific Northwest. They publish research and content on issues that impact everyday people, and they examine the records of elected officials, corporations, and organizations, holding them accountable on vital issues.

You should definitely go to Accountable Northwest yourself, but here are a few highlights we found:

  • When anti-union ideologue Tom McCabe took the reins at the Freedom Foundation as CEO in 2013, he made his goal crystal clear: to utterly dismantle the power of working people.

Tom McCabe, CEO, Freedom Foundation

  • McCabe has stopped at nothing to try and salvage his right-wing, regressive vision for the Freedom Foundation. This includes putting worker’s safety at risk by sending poorly vetted staff members to interact with union members and their families.

  • McCabe has surrounded himself with staff who have made disturbing and derogatory statements about women, communities of color, and the LGBTQ community and that he hired bigoted and dangerous staff.

  • The Freedom Foundations’ Washington Field Director Matthew Hayward — who oversees union member outreach — has a violent criminal record. Hayward has even joked about bringing a gun with him to the homes of workers.

  • One former staff member wrote on a personal blog, “We all know there were good slave owners and bad slave owners just like there are good dog owners and bad dog owners.” One staff member even called for the deportation of all Muslims.

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