Hold on to Your Wallets

Union workers dues money is already mostly diverted to politics — ad campaigns, lobbyists, consultants — but the apparent next union boss of the AFL-CIO says that unions aren’t doing enough politicking.

Richard Trumka, described by Politico.com as “unapologetically old-school labor in his view of corporate America,” is preparing to take the reigns of the organization.  

Trumka also known for his tacit support of violence against fellow union members.  When Trumka and United Mine Workers Boss Cecil Roberts came to Bentleyville, Pennsylvania in April 1998, fifty rank-and-file union members gathered outside the hall where they spoke to protest their leaders’ policies. “Within minutes,” wrote leftwing journalist Paul Scherrer, “a group of UMWA officials and their supporters attacked the protesting miners, ripping leaflets and protest signs from their hands. Several miners were punched, knocked to the ground and kicked repeatedly. [Richard] Cicci was hit with a piece of lumber and suffered a large gash on his head.” “Richard Trumka,” reported Scherrer, “refused to answer questions about the assault.” In other words, by his silence he gave tacit assent to such violence.  On another occasion in 1993, Trumka (whose brief biographies usually mention that he was given an award by the Martin Luther King Center for Nonviolent Social Change) urged striking miners to “kick the s— out of” employees and businesses resisting UMWA demands.

Workers who are forced to pay union dues and fees as a condition of employment should be prepared to see more and more of their money go to politics.    A Trumka lead AFL-CIO is exhibit 1 in why we need a National Right to Work law more than ever.