Just Two Months After Hillary Clinton ‘Turn[ed]’ Her ‘Back on American Workers,’ Laborers Union Hierarchy Endorses Her

In the November 2014 mid-term congressional elections, only about 30% of union household members nationwide who were eligible to vote cast ballots in favor of Democrat candidates.  Roughly 70% either opted not to go to the polls, or voted Republican.

Yet regardless of which party candidates, union members, their spouses, and other adult members of their households voted for, if any at all, Big Labor bosses overwhelmingly bankrolled the campaigns of union-label Democrat politicians with money extracted out of the unionized workers’ paychecks.

And Big Labor doesn’t funnel vast sums of workers’ force dues and fees into backing Democrat candidates because union officials believe those candidates will do what’s best for unionized workers. Rather, union chiefs believe a close political alliance with the Democrat Party advances their institutional interests.

A compelling case in point is Terry O’Sullivan, general president of the Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA/AFL-CIO).

Mr. O’Sullivan publicly claims, and undoubtedly sincerely believes, that securing federal approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would facilitate the transport of crude oil from Canada to the U.S., is a very important issue for the workers whom he purports to represent.

And when former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the overwhelming favorite for the Democrat presidential nomination in 2016, came out against the Keystone XL September 22, the LIUNA brass issued a press release that bitterly denounced her and other professional politicians in her party sharing her opposition for “turning their back on American workers” and “fueling a radical movement that undermines our energy security and takes food off the table of middle class workers.” (See the first link below.)

Hearing LIUNA kingpins dismiss Ms. Clinton and the other Democrat presidential hopefuls as “supposed friends” of the union rank-and-file, some naive political observers assumed a few weeks ago that LIUNA bosses would stay out of the 2016 presidential race. Given that they routinely funnel roughly 90% of their reported federal campaign contributions to Democrats, it seemed impossible LIUNA strategists would support a GOP candidate. But given that all of the Democrat candidates are opposed to the Keystone XL and generally courting the support of people Mr. O’Sullivan dismisses as “environmental extremists,” it seemed to some that the LIUNA brass would not support a Democrat, either.

But this was a naive assumption. On November 24, a new LIUNA press release declared that union officials are “proud to endorse” Ms. Clinton “for President of the United States,” and vowed to rev up the union’s forced dues-fueled political machine next year to ensure she is elected. (See the second link below for more information.)

Mr. O’Sullivan and other LIUNA bosses know that, whatever else Ms. Clinton will do if she becomes America’s next President, she will certainly fight to perpetuate and expand Big Labor’s legal power to get workers fired for refusal to pay dues or fees to an unwanted union. And last week’s endorsement shows yet again that the forced-unionism issue is more important than any other for the union elite.

Long experience shows that when union bosses have a choice between pouring forced-dues treasury money into a candidate who will help workers, and a candidate who backs more special privileges for Big Labor, they invariably opt for the latter.  This past week’s LIUNA endorsement in the 2016 presidential race merely confirms the point another time.

And the only sure means to change the union bosses’ ways is to take away their forced-dues privileges.

In September, Laborers Union bosses denounced anti-Keystone XL Democrats like ex-Secretary of State and presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton for “push[ing] blue collar working men and women away” from their party and “put[ting] their own fringe beliefs before the good of the nation and working people.”  Now those same union bosses are vowing to go all out to ensure Ms. Clinton becomes the next President. Image: Brian Cahn/ZUMA

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