Workers can object to unions' political spending

More union dues stories: here

About 40% of workers disagree with unions' hyper-partisanship, but are forced to support it through workplace deductions

Soon after World War II, 36 percent of all workers in the United States were members of labor unions. Today, the figure is about 12 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. A big decline, obviously. But even at 12 percent, that's enough people — roughly 16 million — to make a difference in a presidential election.

In the lead story in today's section, Rochester labor leader Jim Bertolone states succinctly why he favors Barack Obama over John McCain. When the AFL-CIO, the nation's largest labor organization, endorsed Obama in June, it called him "a champion for working families."

The National Right to Work Committee doesn't hold the Democratic nominee in such high regard. "On Labor Day ... as we celebrate the free enterprise system and the value of hard work, union officials are mounting an unprecedented, billion-dollar campaign effort to grab more forced unionism power," said Right to Work President Mark Mix.

"Their goal is to elect a president and a filibuster-proof Senate that will give them even more tools to force workers to join or pay dues to a union."

The Right to Work Committee says its 2.2 million members are dedicated to the principle that all Americans must have the right to join a union if they choose to — but that no one should ever be forced to become a union member to get or keep a job.

And so the committee is urging workers to challenge the use of their dues this fall to pay for any elect-Obama effort.


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