A bill being sponsored by State Representative Scott Plakon, that would require unions to disclose information on it’s membership or be forced to re-certify is moving on after a state house committee passed it on Wednesday afternoon.
HB 11 would require Unions to disclose how many members they have and how many of them are paying dues. If less than 50% of the eligible members are part of the organization at the time of re-certification then the union’s status as the bargaining organization’s agent could be revoked. Police and Firefighter Unions would be exempt.
“This bill is about transparency and democracy.” Plakon told the House Government Accountability Committee during it’s introduction “Transparency in that we will be asking private sector unions how many members pay dues. Democracy in that we will be asking them to make sure the majority of their members pay dues.”
Critics called the measure “union busting” with representatives from unions around the state speaking in opposition.
One of Plakon’s Central Florida colleagues, House District 49 Democrat Carlos Guillermo Smith was one of the voices fighting the bill.
“I think it’s very clear that this bill is about politics, not about policy.” said Smith “ and since we know this is about politics we know what the vote outcome is going to be in this committee. This bill is about union-busting, plain and simple”
HB 11 would go on to pass 14 to 8 along party lines. It now heads to the floor where it will likely pass, companion legislation in the Senate has been filed but not heard in it’s latest committee stop chaired by Democrat Bill Montford.
Americans for Prosperity Florida, one of the conservative groups supporting the Plakon’s legislation is calling for the bill to have an audience.
“We need to ensure that all unions are operating in the sunshine and that they garner at least a 50 percent plus one support to justify their claims to represent millions of Florida workers,” said AFP state director, Chris Hudson.