FL Poll Shows Widespread Support for Firefighters

A majority of Floridians believe that legislation to prohibit firefighters and other public employees from deducting dues from their paychecks is unnecessary.

According to a new poll, 53 percent of Floridians believe firefighters and other public employees should have the right to deduct dues from their paychecks. Another 67 percent of Floridians believe firefighters deserve collective bargaining rights, according to the poll. While Governor Rick Scott and Florida lawmakers try to eliminate the rights of workers, firefighters and paramedics today will respond to the ongoing political and legislative attacks with television ads and an e-mail campaign to lawmakers.

The new ad that began broadcasting today can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GC6IgcT587A&feature=channel_video_title

“Prohibiting dues deduction is nothing more than an attempt to gag workers,” International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) General President Harold Schaitberger said.

Like Florida’s anti-worker lawmakers, the Florida Chamber of Commerce has tried to convince voters that firefighters should lose their right to have dues deducted from their paychecks.

“The chamber of commerce wants voters to believe that it has the best interests of firefighters in mind, but the chamber is nothing more than a partisan, political interest group with little use for those who stand in the way of its anti-worker agenda,” Schaitberger said. “The chamber and anti-worker lawmakers want voters to believe Florida workers are forced to join unions, but membership is voluntary.”

The IAFF has launched public education campaigns in Wisconsin, Ohio, Oklahoma and Florida to counter the attacks by anti-worker lawmakers. In Ohio firefighters have called for an end to Governor John Kasich’s proposed changes to collective bargaining rights there. In Wisconsin IAFF members have rallied with public employees to raise awareness about Governor Scott Walker’s attack to end collective bargaining rights for public workers. In Oklahoma firefighters have fought to protect collective bargaining rights. Last month in Florida firefighters launched a response to Governor Rick Scott’s attack on pensions.

The IAFF, headquartered in Washington, represents more than 298,000 full-time professional firefighters and paramedics in North America and is the leading advocate for the health and safety of firefighters. More information is available at www.iaff.org.

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