In a surprise ruling, a three judge panel of the Ninth Circus Court of Appeals issued a unanimous opinion supporting the right of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients to unionize in order to assure equitable access to benefits, along with an uninterrupted flow of payments should the federal government be forced to temporarily shut down due to congressional budget stalemates.
“For too long so-called Food Stamp beneficiaries have been denied access to union representation seeking to protect their rights,” said Justice Gavin Moore Freestuff. In a sharply worded rebuke to attorneys representing the National Taxpayers Union, which sought to block a ruling by the newly reconstituted National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), Justice Freestuff cited recent court precedents establishing the right of home health care workers, nannies, babysitters, and dog walkers to pay compulsory dues which unions could then use to influence elections.
Ha! Ha! Ha! If only this didn’t seem so true. We have far too many “Justice Freestuff”s in America today.- Peter Brown, Editor of the Sound Money Institute
Under the new rules, if a majority of SNAP recipients in any congressional district signs ballot cards accepting the representation of a federally recognized labor union, all SNAP beneficiaries in that district would have 30 days to voluntarily enroll or lose benefits. Monthly union dues would then be automatically deducted from recipients’ Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards, minus a small fee for the card processor.
Eyeing 47 million potential new members, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) immediately launched an organizing drive, claiming that since Food Stamp recipients were on the government payroll and contributed just as much to the economy as other government employees, their organization would offer the most appropriate representation.
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka begged to differ. “Were it not for decades of untiring efforts by our brothers and sisters to drive domestic manufacturers out of the country-or if necessary out of business-there is no way we would have so many Food Stamp recipients today. It is only right that we be allowed to recruit these critical providers of aggregate demand to replenish our dwindling membership.”
Read More at Real Clear Markets . By Bill Frezza.