As a union spokeswoman pointed out, these banks helped shape the group's political agenda. Not wanting to fund their enemies makes union leaders "thugs" and "bullies." I say, more like this, please!
Unions representing Central Florida teachers, firefighters, police and other government workers are pulling an estimated $10 million from five banks affiliated with the Florida Chamber of Commerce, blaming them for an attack on public employees.
The unions are also asking their members — an estimated 20,000 people — to withdrawal their personal money from Bank of America, PNC Bank, Regions Bank, SunTrust and Wachovia. And labor leaders across the state could follow in the coming weeks, union officials say.
Executives from the banks in question sit on the Florida Chamber's board of directors, and the chamber has pushed legislation that would prohibit state and local governments from collecting union dues through payroll deduction.
Supporters say the "Paycheck Protection" act would allow public employees to prevent their wages from being used for political purposes, but opponents say it's simply a labor-busting effort that would make it more difficult for unions to operate.
The Florida Chamber of Commerce has lobbied lawmakers in support of the legislation and broadcast a campaign-style ad pushing for it. The measure has already passed the Florida House and is moving forward in the Senate.
[...] "It's a shame that unions have dragged banks into their political games," Florida Chamber spokeswoman Edie Ousley. "This just goes to show how desperate they are to keep the union gravy train by using the state of Florida to collect union dues. Frankly, we expected these bully tactics a long time ago."