The Left Thanks Unions for Their Support

Posted by Olivia Grady on Monday, May 21st, 2018 at 3:43 pm - Permalink

On May 18, 2018, the Center for Union Facts released a new report on how much money unions spent on liberal advocacy groups from 2010 – 2017. According to their new research, unions spent more than $1.3 billion in member dues on liberal causes.

The report covered the nation’s largest labor unions: AFL-CIO, United Autoworkers, National Education Association, Machinists, Service Employees International Union, AFSCME, American Federation of Teachers and many other labor organizations. 99% of this money was sent to left-wing causes. The ten major recipients of the money were America Votes, Democratic Governors Association, Catalist, Economic Policy Institute, Americans United for Change, Center for American Progress, Center for Popular Democracy, Democracy Alliance, National Employment Law Project and Planned Parenthood.

This occurs despite the fact that CNN 2016 exit polls showed that Secretary Clinton won union households by only 3 percentage points: 51 – 48%.

The concern for First Amendment and Worker Freedom advocates, therefore, is that conservative workers are forced to pay fees (known as agency fees) to unions even if they aren’t members. These fees purportedly cover the costs of collective bargaining for the union, but in reality, the money also funds political causes.

Thankfully, a child support specialist at the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, Mark Janus, is challenging the constitutionality of agency fees for government employees before the Supreme Court. He argues they violate his First Amendment rights because collective bargaining in itself is political. Also, unions decide what counts as political spending and what doesn’t.

As Janus explains:

I’m not anti-union. I don’t begrudge anyone who wants to form a union, or be part of a union. But what is unfair and unconstitutional is forcing me – and millions of other American workers – to pay to advance policies we oppose just so we can serve our communities and our state.

The Supreme Court will soon release a decision in the Janus v. AFSCME case before its term ends in July.