Workers Forced to Bankroll Agenda They Oppose

(Source: December 2010 NRTWC Newsletter)
Union bosses like AFL-CIO czar Richard Trumka claim that forced-unionism policies are in union members' best interest. But a new scientific poll shows union members overwhelmingly support the Right to Work principle.

New Nationwide Poll Shows Union Members Support Right to Work

A scientific survey of union members nationwide, conducted the week before the November elections by well-known pollster Frank Luntz for the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, shows that Big Labor bosses are out of touch with the people they purport to represent as well as the public at large.

The poll gauged the opinions of both private- and government-sector union members regarding key aspects of the agenda Big Labor bankrolls with union treasury funds, which consist primarily of dues and fees that workers are forced to fork over as a condition of employment.

In the 2009-2010 campaign cycle, union officials funneled forced dues and fees extracted from an estimated nine million union members and forced union fee-paying nonmembers into what appears to have been their largest ever federal mid-term electoral war chest.

Top bosses of the AFL-CIO-affiliated American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) union openly admit to having spent a total of nearly $87.5 million, mostly union treasury money, on mid-term electioneering.

Service Employees International Union (SEIU) bosses acknowledge pouring $44 million, primarily forced-dues money, into 2009-2010 politics. National Education Association (NEA) teacher union chiefs have owned up to siphoning $40 million into politicking over the past two years.

Altogether, it’s safe to say Organized Labor shelled out more than a billion dollars in reported and unreported contributions, including “in-kind” support like phone banks and get-out-the-vote drives as well as cash, to its favored 2010 congressional candidates.

Four Out of Five Union Members Reject Forced Union Membership, Dues

In every election year, union strategists deploy Big Labor’s enormous campaign war chest to defeat pro-Right to Work candidates and elect and reelect candidates who support forced unionism.

Yet the Luntz survey shows that union members agree with the vast majority of Americans who support the Right to Work.

Most (54%) union members “strongly agree” that workers should “never be forced or coerced to join or pay dues to a union as a condition of employment.” An additional 26% “somewhat agree,” whereas only 14% disagree, either “somewhat” or “strongly.”

And the survey results indicate that support for the Right to Work is even stronger among government-sector union members than it is among private-sector union members.

In the 2009-2010 election cycle, Big Labor was also determined to defend politicians who had voted in early 2009 for President Obama’s $800 billion “stimulus” package.

AFL-CIO czar Richard Trumka and other union bigwigs have stubbornly insisted, despite the distinct lack of tangible benefits, that this legislation has been a success.

But the union members who were forced to finance the union brass’s efforts to protect pro-“stimulus” politicians don’t agree at all. They are nearly four times as likely to regard the “stimulus” as “very much a failure” than as “very much a success.” Overall, a 53% to 41% majority of union members see the stimulus as a failure.

While union members are far more likely to vote for the candidates promoted by Big Labor than they are to support Big Labor’s forced-unionism, Tax & Spend agenda, the divide between the union rank and file and the hierarchy on candidates is still wide.

Making, or Not Making, Campaign Contributions Is A Personal Decision

According to the latest accounting, 93% of union federal PAC contributions in 2010 went to Democratic candidates, while more than one in three union household members voted for the GOP candidate in their U.S. House district.

“Regardless of how the individual unionized worker votes, it should be up to him or her to decide which candidates, if any, to support financially,” said Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Committee and the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation.

“To ensure that what should be a personal decision truly is one, forced union dues must be abolished. And that is pro-Right to Work Americans’ unchanging goal.”