Give union workers a chance to keep more of their money

16678600174_085d33d660_qBy Stephen Moore and Jon Decker

From the OC Register:

One key provision of the ERA is to require Big Labor to get workers explicit approval before unions can spend workers’ money on political activities.

Under current law, unions can snatch these payments right from the worker’s paycheck unless the worker formally requests the money back.

Although funding a union’s political machine is supposed to be voluntary due to Supreme Court precedent, a McLaughlin & Associates poll found that 67 percent of workers did not know they had a right not to pay union dues for political campaigns.

Of course, it’s no surprise that union leaders who get rich and fat off these payments have failed to advertise that members can “opt out” of picking up the tab for political expenditures.

The ERA would also require recertification of unions whenever a majority of the workers at a workplace have not voted in the current union representatives. Right now, unions have de facto lifetime certification. But many times the current team of workers at a shop never even voted for the union that is supposedly representing them. Regular elections are democratic and fair to workers.

The ERA would also require secret ballots when voting for union representation. This would outlaw the often nefarious so-called “card check” system where workers can be bullied into signing a card to institute the union with no secret election at all.

The stakes here for worker take-home pay are huge. In the 2012 presidential election, labor spent $1.7 billion on political activities. This is far from equally distributed. About 90 percent of the money went to Democrats. This election cycle, the spending by unions could exceed $2 billion. If half the workers refuse to opt in to this spending, workers across the country will receive a $1 billion pay raise.

This may be a conservative estimate. We’ve learned from states like Wisconsin, where workers already have these paycheck protections, that about 80 percent of workers are not paying these dues. They’d rather feed and care for their families than the union machine.

Read More at OC Register.

Photo Credit: Pictures of Money

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