I have not been endorsed by the AFL-CIO but I do not recall having a conversation with them. It is common for those running for office to be swamped with questionnaires. If you do not answer how they like, or if you fail to return them, you are blacklisted.  Therefore, I thought it best to say a few words about unions and my work ethic.

According to a Stacker article(written on 10/11/21), the employed population in Maine is 559,000 individuals. Union members are 82,000 or 14.7 percent of the employed population. However, workers represented by unions are 93,000 or 16.7 percent of the employed population. That means that the majority of workers in Maine, 83.3 percent, are not members of unions, nor represented by them.  I bet the majority of Mainers feel the same way I do about unions.

Unions have had their place. Unions were born out of the Industrial Revolution, when working conditions and wages were poor.  Since that time, laws have been enacted to improve these conditions.  Even today, workers can unionize and unions can negotiate with employers. Let’s not forget that members of unions pay dues out of their paychecks each week and union shops exist within the workplace to offer protection for the employees.

But what if a worker does not want to pay union dues? Should he or she be forced to do so?  Remember, a new employee makes less money than an employee who has been there for a long time.  What happens when your union is supporting a politician that you are not supporting? Unions typically support Democrats. This can be most frustrating for the worker who is not a Democrat!

Did you know that if the State of Maine wants to hire out a job, it must go to a union? Therefore, a Maine company or Maine workers are left out for consideration, unless they belong to a union.  Do you see the connection between workers and union dues?  Unions have a political stake in the game because it is money in their pockets. Thank you Democrats, who have run Maine for about 50 years!

Let me tell you my story. I belonged to a union. In fact I was the president of the police union when I worked for the Saco Police Department. I was in the thick of it. I desired that the officers and the city had a fair working environment and people were not taken advantage of. I sat at the negotiation table and negotiated contracts among the Saco Police Officers, the Saco Police Administration and the City of Saco.

But during that time something terrible happened when the City of Saco defaulted on its loans.  Now there was no money to pay their employees. The teachers refused to work, buses did not run, working parents were forced to make adjustments and public works shut down. It was a mess!  But what would the first responders do? As president of the police union, I met with the president of the fire department union and he and I decided we would not do what the other unions did. We were essential workers and the citizens of Saco needed us. So we would work, even without pay!

We held union meetings at the Saco Police and Fire Departments and convinced our members, against union pressure, to keep working.  In the face of what the other unions chose to do when they refused to work, Saco’s Police and Fire Department unions chose to do the right thing for the city and work. So you see, unions can be both good and bad when they do not use common sense.

A second union story surfaced when I served as both a transport officer/road deputy and corrections officer with the York County Sheriff’s Office. It is unusual to find a public servant trained in both law enforcement and corrections, but that was me. As a union member, I was active in my union and also in politics. The day came when I discovered that my union dues were going to pay for a political candidate that I did not support. In fact, I was sending money personally to one political candidate, while my union dues were being sent to his opponent. Now that was crazy and made no sense!  So what did I do? I dropped out of the union and I never returned. The union organization (and not the local shop) called to discuss the matter with me.  But I did not budge, because as long as they were going to be political, they had lost me! 

Therefore, what can we say about unions?

  1. Unions have had their place, especially when employers act in an unfair way toward their employees.
  2. However, when employers act in a professional way to their employees and employees act in a responsible way to the employers, unions are not needed.  I have seen great examples of this in Maine.
  3. Laws have been enacted to help protect employees. In this case, unions have outlived their usefulness.
  4. Unions have no business interfering with the running of an organization. That is the job of the employer and employees working as a team. I am obviously a big fan of “team management,” and zero-based budgeting.
  5. In our schools, the education of our children should be left to parents and school boards elected by the people and not by the teachers union.  It is the people who should oversee our schools, not the administrators or the unions.  We need transparency in our schools.
  6. The State of Maine should not award jobs to union members only. Hiring should be based upon the best qualified applicants, for the least amount of money possible, as well as for the greatest outcome possible. Employees should not be forced to join a union against their will, just so unions can line their pockets!
  7. Unions should stay out of politics, since they bring BIG MONEY into political campaigns and they encourage their members to vote for candidates who will toe THEIR union line!

Now you can see why the AFL-CIO choose to endorse my opponent.  I believe in common sense for Maine and government led by the people and not by unions. Because of this, I feel sorry for my opponent receiving that AFL-CIO endorsement.

On November 8th you must decide who you want to represent you in the Maine Senate. Do you want a Mainer with common sense, or simply a union pawn?

You will find David Corbett on the ballot in the towns of Biddeford, Arundel, Lyman, Dayton, and Hollis.  This is known as Senate District 32. In the meantime, tell your friends to vote for me, ask me for a yard sign, contribute $5.00 to my campaign and request a rear window sticker showing your support.  Remember, in this election, friends will not let friends vote for Democratic candidates. There is too much at stake to do otherwise!

Rev. David Corbett
Maine Senate Candidate
District 32 (Biddeford, Arundel, Dayton, Lyman, Hollis)

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