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ATU Fights Back Against Florida Senate Bill 256 Created to Destroy Public Sector Unions

In a big blow to the labor movement, anti-worker Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed union-busting Florida Senate Bill 256 into law in May. The new law will require most public sector unions in the Sunshine State to maintain 60% dues payment rates or face decertification, outlaw union members’ right to pay their dues via paycheck deductions and require anti-union language to be added to membership cards, among other provisions aimed at destroying public sector unions.

Just like every obstacle or challenge, our Union is taking SB 256 head-on.


International Launches Strategy to Combat Law

The International developed a comprehensive strategy to combat this bill by working with our Locals across the state to sign up nonmembers. The plan was launched at a meeting convened by International President John Costa of our Florida Local leaders. At the meeting, Locals were briefed about the impact of the law, including those covered by Section 13(c)’s transit employee protections, and given a comprehensive tool kit and strategies to push back against this attack on our members’ freedom of choice, association, and speech.

“This anti-union legislation represents a significant threat to the foundations of a just and equitable society. By signing SB 256 into law, Ron DeSantis and Florida lawmakers are saying they don’t want public servants to have a voice on the job,” Costa told Locals at the meeting. “We will not let this stand. We are launching an all-out effort to ensure that our Union comes out stronger than ever after this blatant attack on workers’ rights.”


Local 1577-Palm Beach, FL, Dwight Mattingly Hired Field Coordinator

As part of our effort to push back against the bill, the International has hired the President/Business Agent of Local 1577-Palm Beach, FL, Dwight Mattingly, as a Field Coordinator to spearhead the campaign on the ground to combat Bill 256. Mattingly is retiring on June 30 of this year.

“Dwight has years of experience, knows the state’s political landscape, and will be a critical part of this campaign to push back against Ron DeSantis and his anti-worker agenda,” said Costa. “From his time as a bus operator to becoming a long-time leader in his Local and the labor movement, both organizing and mobilizing his members, Dwight brings with him extensive knowledge and familiarity of our members in the state of Florida.”

Bill 256 is designed to do that by undermining our ability to negotiate fair wages, decent working conditions, and job security. 

“I feel very honored to continue my service to the ATU membership in the state of Florida, endeavoring to protect the rights of our members as we continue to push back against these unlawful attacks on collective bargaining rights” said Mattingly.