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Right-Wing Think Tank Wins Court Battle for Union Members’ Names, Now They Want Birth Dates


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After a protracted legal battle with the Freedom Foundation, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) 775 has officially handed over a list of its members to the conservative think tank. The Freedom Foundation will use the list to send out mailers to members of the Washington state caregivers union letting them know they can leave their union. 

The list is currently out of date, however, so the Olympia-based organization is asking the state for even more information:

Maxford Nelson is director of labor policy for the Freedom Foundation. He said the think tank isn’t ready to send out mailers yet. The list of caregivers is outdated at this point and birth dates would help match the names to mailing addresses.

“Because we have a two year old list without birth dates, it’s still not quite to the point of being usable but a big step closer.” Nelson said. “And definitely the right legal outcome and good precedent.”

Nelson said he’s asking the state for an updated list. His group is in a separate legal battle over whether the birth dates should be public.

The Washington State Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal filed by the union regarding the release of the names. The union is funding a November ballot initiative in an effort to protect Washington caregivers’ personal information:

The list of names is at the center of a ballot initiative this election.

The union is funding Initiative 1501, which would exempt caregivers’ personal information from the state’s public records law. The Freedom Foundation is continuing to fight the measure.

The union finds it inarguable that the only goal of the “fishing expedition” is to break the union.


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