Union Dues are Paid By Private Citizens
Unionized government workers have tremendous leverage to negotiate their own wages and benefits. They funnel tens of millions of dollars to elect candidates who will sit across from them at the negotiating table. This self-dealing has resulted in ever-increasing wage and benefit packages for unionized government workers that often far outstrip those for comparable private-sector workers." said Thomas Donohue, the chief executive of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in a Feb. 24 blog post whose Chamber vowed in 2010 to spend $75 million to get Republicans elected who would then sit across the negotiating table from the chambers donors - some of whom are foreign corporations.
$75mil seems like a lot of marketing money to me.
News from the left;
Let us begin with this simple, indisputable truth: public employees' unions don't get a single red cent from taxpayers. And they aren't a mechanism to “force” working people to support Democrats – that's completely illegal.
Public sector workers are employed by the government, but they are private citizens. Once a private citizen earns a dollar from the sweat of his or her brow, it no longer belongs to his or her employer. In the case of public workers, it is no longer a “taxpayer dollar”; it is a dollar held privately by an American citizen. Public sector unions are financed through the dues paid by these private citizens, who elected to be part of a union – not a single taxpayer dollar is involved, and no worker is forced to join a union against his or her wishes. No worker in the United States is required to give one red cent to support a political cause he or she doesn't agree with.
There is no distinction between the role public- and private-sector unions play: both represent their members in negotiations with their employers. At the federal level, both are prohibited from using their members' dues for political purposes. They donate to political campaigns – to elect lawmakers who will stand up for the interests of working people – but only out of voluntary contributions their members choose to make to their PACs....
....The irony here is that while unions can't compel workers to fork over a penny for political campaigns, corporations can donate unlimited amounts of their shareholders' equity to do so – they are, in fact, in the “unique position” to elect pliant lawmakers. “What the right-wing and the business community always try to portray is that you have these union bosses that are forcing helpless employees to give them money,” says Gold, “when the reality is that these are their members who chose to be in a union and then elected their officers democratically, in sharp contrast to corporations, none of whose officers are elected democratically unless you count shareholders voting at an annual meeting as a real democratic system.”
And conservatives have long held that voluntary donations to political campaigns are a high form of free speech. The double standard is clear-- “money equals speech” unless it's money freely donated by working people to advance their own economic interests.
The corporate-backed Heritage Foundation – which has waged a longstanding propaganda war against the American labor movement -- notes that “state and local employees in 28 states are required to pay full union dues” – patently untrue -- and, “using this government coercion, government unions have amassed tremendous financial resources that they use to campaign for higher taxes and higher pay for government workers.”
There are no “government unions,” just unions of private workers. And they have no interest in campaigning for higher taxes – they are unions of taxpaying citizens. They do push for better pay, benefits and working conditions, like private sector unions, but officials elected by American voters determine the number and size of public programs and therefore the ultimate cost of government.