Unionized Workers Forced to Bankroll Presidential Ticket For Which They Won’t Vote
With Labor Day still a week off, it remains impossible for the most part to forecast with any confidence how the 2016 federal elections will turn out.
But it’s already safe to predict a few things. And one of the safest predictions of all is that roughly 65%, at a minimum, of union household members nationwide will either cast their ballots for a presidential ticket opposed by Big Labor, or opt not to vote in that contest.
Yet regardless of which candidates for President and Vice President union members, their spouses, and other adult members of their households vote for, if any at all, Big Labor bosses are overwhelmingly bankrolling Democrat nominees Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine with money extracted out of unionized workers’ paychecks.
Federal law grants union officials extraordinary power over individual workers. Except in Right to Work states, federal labor law and parallel state statutes authorize Big Labor to get workers in a broad array of industries and government agencies fired for refusal to fork over forced union dues or fees. But in theory, Big Labor shouldn’t be able to get away with using a worker’s forced-dues money to cancel out his or her own vote, or to help one candidate in a race when the worker favors none.
Under court precedents won by the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, forced dues-paying workers who never join or resign from the union have the right to pay a forced, but reduced, union “agency” fee rather than full forced dues. And objecting workers’ forced fees are not supposed to be spent on politics or electioneering.
However, as countless Foundation cases show, union bosses routinely lie to workers. Workers are falsely told that they have to join the union, or that they can’t automatically resign.
Time and again, workers are tricked by such falsehoods and pay full union dues to save their jobs. By exploiting its legal privileges and intimidating workers, Big Labor was able to pour an estimated $1.7 billion into electioneering and lobbying in the 2011-12 campaign cycle.
Roughly 42% of the 23.2 million union household members who voted in the 2012 presidential election did not vote for the Big Labor-backed Barack Obama-Joe Biden ticket. And according to an analysis by political scientists Paul Abramson, John Aldrich, Brad Gomez, and David Rohde, fewer than 58% of union household members who were eligible to vote in the last fall presidential election cast any ballot at all.
That means only about one-third of all adult union household members actually voted for Obama-Biden in 2012. But the vast sums of unionized workers’ forced dues and fees funneled into the Obama-Biden campaign served as the principal bulwark for the ticket’s reelection all the same.
Given the “significant support for Republican nominee Donald Trump” among the union rank and file this year (see the link below for more information), it is unlikely the Big Labor-backed 2016 presidential ticket of Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine will win the votes of a much higher share of union household members than did the Obama-Biden ticket in 2012.
Why do union bosses keep spending unionized workers’ forced-dues money on candidates for whom the union rank and file and their families won’t vote?
First and foremost, union bosses are determined to elect and reelect politicians who oppose Right to Work protections for employees. To secure Big Labor’s backing, Hillary Clinton has vowed again and again that she will veto a national Right to Work law if Congress passes one.
And she is also actually bragging on the campaign trail about how she was, as a U.S. senator representing New York State, an original cosponsor of the “Card Check” Unionization Bill. This scheme would have virtually eliminated secret-ballot voting for union certification and handed Big Labor a huge new weapon to force workers into unions.
Ms. Clinton has even promised the union brass that, if elected, she will if necessary circumvent Congress and issue executive orders designed to “help unions grow,” that is, to corral even more workers into union ranks.
Her running mate, Tim Kaine, once paid lip service to support for state bans on compulsory unionism as a politician running for office in Right to Work Virginia. But now that he is running for nationwide office he has joined Ms. Clinton in declaring across-the-board support for union monopoly control over employees.
Scientific polls consistently show the vast majority of union members don’t support compulsory unionism, period. There’s no conceivable way they would regard it as a litmus test for federal candidates. But union bosses do, and election cycle after election cycle they pour enormous amounts of workers’ forced-dues money into campaign activities to enforce their preferences.