by Jonathan Decker
Yesterday marked the passage of another Labor Day weekend where workers had to suffer from coercive union dues.
As Richard Berman, executive director of the Center for Union Facts, noted in Detroit News:
…in the last decade, union leadership has sent more than $1 billion collected without prior permission from member dues to the Democratic Party and liberal special interests — 99 percent of Big Labor’s political advocacy budget. The recipients range from the notorious Clinton Foundation to Planned Parenthood.
When 40 percent of union household members vote Republican, you’re looking at a problem best described as immoral. In 2016, 43 percent of union household voters supported President Trump. Yet union leadership continues to bankroll the anti-Trump agenda on the worker’s dime.
While union members must affirmatively agree to their monthly dues being used for candidate campaign contributions, the same is not true of financial support to political advocacy groups. By classifying these political expenditures as “representational activities,” union officials can use member dues to finance a political agenda without employees even knowing about it. Union members are effectively silenced by union leadership more interested in politics than worker empowerment.
It is shameful that so many workers cough up hard-earned dollars in order to prop a union they may not have elected, or to support political causes they may not agree with. To add insult to injury, union bosses attempt to justify these expenses by claiming their costly political advocacy will result in higher wages… the beatings will continue until morale improves!
If we want to take an all-of-the-above approach to boosting employee wages, reforming our antiquated labor laws (which haven’t been substantially updated in 70 years) should absolutely be on the table. Regardless of one’s support (or lack thereof) for a union’s political agenda, it is obvious that, if presented with the option, nearly all workers would rather receive greater take-home pay than funnel money to a political machine.
Contributions to political organizations should be entirely voluntary, never coerced.
Thankfully, bills including the Employee Rights Act and Right to Work have been gaining steam in Congress and among the states. The Employee Rights Act would require a clear opt-in process before worker dues could be siphoned for political purposes, and polls show union household members are highly supportive of the law’s provisions. Committee to Unleash Prosperity founder Stephen Moore has praised this legislation stating:
“The ERA puts the GOP firmly on the side of working-class Americans and higher pay. The wonder is why the party hasn’t made this one of its top priorities already.”
Next Labor Day, let’s celebrate by putting more money into workers’ wallets. Our backyard barbecues will even more enjoyable with the extra cash.