8-2-15 – Union Supporters Freak Over Roper Op-Ed

by Rob Roper

I recently received a copy of a email circulated among a group called Working Vermont regarding an Op-Ed I wrote, In Age of Uber, “Right to Work” Makes More Sense Than Ever. The list of people copied on the original email included lobbyists, union leaders, and legislators*.

The full content of the email, excluding a reprint of my column, reads:  “Ethan Allen institute’s president Rob Roper’s comments which appear late last week in a number of daily and weekly newspapers demands a collective response by Working Vermont, hopefully in the form of an op ed in time for Labor Day.  Given that we don’t meet until Sep 8th, I am hoping we can move on this now.  Under the guise of expanding job opportunities for Vermonters, Roper extols the virtues of independent contractor status, holds out hope for the elimination of agency fees and suggests the elimination of the concept of exclusive representation suggesting companies could negotiate separate contracts with those who choose not to be in a union, thus of course, always giving the non union employees better terms and conditions of employment and thus hasten the destruction of unions which along with eliminating the middle class, is his true goal.  This article needs to be called and labelled for the hypocritical travesty that it is and Roper’s views tied to the Republicans if possible.  It cannot go unrebutted.”

A few things here are striking.

  • The admission that if workers were allowed to negotiate their own terms of employment outside the union, non-union employees would “always” receive “better terms and conditions of employment.” Of course if workers found value in joining a union, they join of their own free will? If unions do provide such value, they have nothing to fear from my proposals. Yet, as we see, they are afraid.
  • Their venomous and idiotic accusation that the elimination of the middle class is my goal. Under Vermont’s current, pro-union policies the gap between rich and poor is growing faster here than in any other state with the possible exception of California, and middle class families are leaving Vermont because they can’t afford to live here. If we want to save the middle class, we need to change the status quo by expanding opportunities for work and entrepreneurship. (This was the point of my original article at which they took such offense.)
  • And lastly, the flagrantly false and partisan desire to tie my views to Republicans “if possible.” What a crock! But, at least it’s nice to know this is how the folks on the list below operate (and cooperate).

Can’t wait to see their Op-Ed on Labor Day! Bet it’ll be a doozie.


*From: “Stephen L. Finner, Ph.D.” <[email protected]>
Date: August 31, 2015 at 8:10:01 AM EDT
To: Michelle Salvador <[email protected]>, “David A. Mickenberg” <[email protected]>
Cc: Darren Allen <[email protected]>, Martha Allen <[email protected]>, “Colby, Gerard” <[email protected]>, Joel Cook <[email protected]>, “Cook, Joel” <[email protected]>, “Davis, Susan” <[email protected]>, “Dennett, Charlotte” <[email protected]>, “[email protected]” <[email protected]>, Jeff Fannon <[email protected]>, Steve Howard <[email protected]>, Vincent Illuzzi <[email protected]>, “Johnson, Ben” <[email protected]>, “LaBounty, Dennis” <[email protected]>, “Leyshon, Traven” <[email protected]>, Shelley Martin <[email protected]>, “Matthews, Leslie” <[email protected]>, “Mayers, Matt” <[email protected]>, “Moran, John” <[email protected]>, “O’Brien, Ben” <[email protected]>, “O’Neal, Mike” <[email protected]>, “Paradis, Emma” <[email protected]>, “Potvin, Jeff” <[email protected]>, “Riemer, Heather” <[email protected]>, Colin Robinson <[email protected]>, “Shollenberger, Amy” <[email protected]>, “Sirotkin, Michael” <[email protected]>, “St. Hilaire, Tony” <[email protected]>, Kristie Ferguson <[email protected]>, Ben Palkowski <[email protected]>, “Justin St. James” <[email protected]>, “[email protected]” <[email protected]>, “[email protected]” <[email protected]>, Felicia Kornbluh <[email protected]>, “[email protected]” <[email protected]>, “[email protected]” <[email protected]>

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Doug Richmond, Underhill September 5, 2015 at 3:56 pm

I guess you gave them a taste of Gov. Walkers telling the unions to collect their own dues, the gov’t’ wasn’t in the business of colledting dues for unions, directly from employees paychecks. The union suffered great loses as a now free set of employees left the union in droves.


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