Right Hooks

Big Labor Robs Members to Support Democrats

Unions spent $1.7 billion on politics whether members liked it or not. So much for "having a voice."

Business Review Board · Apr. 18, 2017

If you’re wondering why millions of workers are abandoning the idea of unionization, this statistic provides a clear answer: At least $1.7 billion — three-quarters of which came straight out of workers’ pockets — was used to promote 2016 political campaigns, according to the National Institute for Labor Relations Research.

Two things stick out in the report. 1): “labor unions, which have the ability to tax employees via forced-dues, [are] the only 501(c)5 entities capable of sustaining this kind political expenditure for the past decade”; and 2): “Union officials spent $1.3 billion directly from union treasuries (filled with forced dues and fees) to spend it on politics, dwarfing George Soros’ and the Koch Brothers’ reported combined political spending during the same period.”

Democrats talk a lot talk about voters “making their voices heard” by “getting out the vote,” but most of this money is being siphoned from workers who don’t have a voice in how political contributions are allocated. And, needless to say, Democrats are the biggest beneficiaries. The most recent data reveals that just 14.6 million Americans (or 10.7% of the workforce) were unionized last year. This is a 9.4% reduction from 1983, when membership was 17.7 million (a participation rate of 20.1%). This might explain why, according to The Washington Free Beacon, there is a disparity between Big Labor’s political activism and the votes cast by subordinates: “Trump received votes from 43 percent of union households, while garnering two endorsements from unions representing Border Patrol agents and police officers.”

As National Right to Work Foundation’s Mark Mix put it, “This election was a case study in the disconnect between union bosses and their members, and the chasm is growing.” If unions truly believed in the idea of democracy, they’d quit forcing members to fund partisan politics.

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