SEIU's Funding Scheme Under Scrutiny

The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation just issued the following news release.

SEIU’s new rule forces local affiliates to raise PAC money or kick in workers’ forced union dues and pay penalties

Washington, DC (July 17, 2008) – The National Right to Work Foundation has formally requested that the U.S. Department of Labor and U.S. Department of Justice open investigations into a campaign fundraising scheme adopted by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) at its recent convention.

After reviewing a new amendment to the SEIU constitution, Foundation staff attorneys have concluded that the union and its officers may be violating federal labor law and the Federal Election Campaign Act by imposing financial penalties on local affiliates who fail to meet Political Action Committee (PAC) fundraising targets.

“SEIU bosses are making a mockery of federal law. It’s vital the Department of Justice and Department of Labor take action now before the damage is done,” said Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation. “Elections are a cornerstone of our democratic republic, and we need to do everything possible to ensure the results aren’t tainted by unlawful union activism that violates the rights of rank-and-file workers.”

However, federal labor law forbids unions from political fundraising through the imposition of mandatory financial penalties and it prohibits the conversion of union dues to “hard money.” In addition to asking for a Department of Labor investigation, the coercive nature of the amendment’s punitive mechanism violates core provisions of the Federal Election Campaign Act, and warrants a Department of Justice criminal prosecution.

Read the entire news release here.