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What Do Union Members Want? [Paycheck Protection Laws result in 50% drop in political donations]
Heritage Foundation Center for Data Analysis ^ | August 30, 2006 | Heritage Foundation

Posted on 09/22/2006 12:38:08 PM PDT by John Jorsett

Although their clout has declined markedly over the past 30 years, unions remain a major influence in the lives of millions of Americans. One in eight Americans belongs to a union, and in 28 states workers can lose their jobs if they do not become a union member. Even in firms with voluntary mem­bership, unions represent both unionized and non-unionized employees at the bargaining table, mean­ing it often makes sense for workers to join in order to have a say in the entity that negotiates their wages and workplace conditions.

When workers join a union, they get more than collectively negotiated terms of employment, how­ever. They also get a leadership that pursues its own priorities outside of negotiating employment con­ditions, priorities which may or may not reflect union members’ wishes. For all their influence in the workplace, it is not clear whether unions actu­ally represent their members’ values. While it is true that union members elect their leaders, union leaders appear to pursue an agenda disconnected from the concerns of their members.

One way to test if unions represent their mem­bers’ priorities would be to give workers the option to choose whether or not to support a project backed by their union. If support re­mained at the same level, it would indicate that the union leadership’s priorities matched those of the members. Decreased support would demonstrate that the unions’ priorities do not reflect their members’ wishes.

Just such an experiment has taken place over the last decade. Many unions are heavily involved in political activism, spending their members’ manda­tory dues to elect candidates favored by the union leadership. However, several states have passed “paycheck protection” laws that require unions to obtain written permission from their members before they can spend membership dues on political causes. In these states, the union’s political activism becomes essentially voluntary for its members.

A detailed examination of union spending in states in which political donations are voluntary reveals that union leaders choose to spend far more on politics than their members would prefer. In particular:

Many union leaders are pursuing an agenda that their members do not support.  This fact suggests that America’s workers would be well served by giving them greater freedom in deciding whether or not to belong to a union, and union members should be given greater sway over how their dues are spent by their leaders.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: unions

1 posted on 09/22/2006 12:38:10 PM PDT by John Jorsett
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To: John Jorsett

More money for less work. I believe that has been the union way for some time. Just ask all the steel workers, oh yeah, I forgot, there aren't any.


2 posted on 09/22/2006 12:41:00 PM PDT by tigtog
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To: John Jorsett

"Paycheck protection legislation has a clear neg­ative effect on public sector union contribu­tions to candidates for state legislative offices"

I wonder what effect it has on private sector union contributions.


3 posted on 09/22/2006 12:42:13 PM PDT by Roccus (Dealing with Democrats IS the War on Terror. [Stolen from FReeper Stallone])
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Comment #4 Removed by Moderator

To: tigtog
.....Just ask all the steel workers, oh yeah, I forgot, there aren't any.

Nailed It!

5 posted on 09/22/2006 12:44:17 PM PDT by Fiddlstix (Warning! This Is A Subliminal Tagline! Read it at your own risk!(Presented by TagLines R US))
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To: John Jorsett

Any union that does business with state, local or federal governments, police or fire, teachers, etc. should be prohibited by law from engaging in political activities, donations, or endorsements. And that's my opinion.


6 posted on 09/22/2006 12:44:37 PM PDT by AbeKrieger (Liberals are the Mongol hordes destroying America from within.)
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To: John Jorsett

As a former union member myself I can tell you what my biggest problems with unions are.

First would be union involvement in politics. Unions need to mind their own business and stop taking money from members to support politicians the members may not support.

Second is scale based pay. I think people should be paid based on merit. There's nothing more irritating that struggling with a project because the guy watching you struggle "doesn't get paid for THAT job".


7 posted on 09/22/2006 12:47:09 PM PDT by cripplecreek (If stupidity got us into this mess, then why can't it get us out?)
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To: John Jorsett
They also get a leadership that pursues its own priorities outside of negotiating employment con­ditions, priorities which may or may not reflect union members’ wishes.

Anyone remember the California Grocery Store strike? Union leaders, who make $300,000+ a year, had these people almost destitute (while the leadership didn't miss a single paycheck), and ended up with a contract that was worse than the one originally proposed by Management.

Yeah, I want these guys on my side.

8 posted on 09/22/2006 12:47:52 PM PDT by freedumb2003 (Insultification is the polar opposite of Niceosity)
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To: John Jorsett
Doesn't matter what they want.
Doesn't matter if they got most of the mafia out of their unions.
What matters is they seem to be paid way out of line for compared to what nonunion folks do in the private sector and they in the end close down the companies they got the big contracts from and end all the jobs because the company can't compete.

The last refuge of these scoundrels seems to be government connected jobs where there seems to be the endless ability to tax people more and more to compensate people at 200% of private sector value.
IMO it needs to stop.
A nice law that no government employee job should exceed the average wage and benefits of what is found in the private sector.
Probably would pay back the national debt in 7 years with that one.
9 posted on 09/22/2006 12:49:56 PM PDT by A CA Guy (God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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To: John Jorsett
Unions should not spend any money on candidates or political parties.

I believe it is perfectly reasonable for unions to endorse individual candidates based on their positions and voting record.

10 posted on 09/22/2006 12:53:26 PM PDT by toast
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To: John Jorsett

What union memebers want? Well, I want the security to know I won't get fired for turnin in a legitamate safety violation. I want the security I won't lose my job because the bosses dumbass brother-in-law needs a job and can't get one because he's a dumbass. I want the security to say no to mowing the bosses lawn, building him a deck or watching his pets when he's on vacation with the idea I won't lose my job. Those are the ones that get promoted to supervision and that's fine with me. I know I'm in the minority here and I will get flamed but there are two sides to every coin. But I know YOU won't see it.


11 posted on 09/22/2006 12:57:39 PM PDT by BipolarBob (I get homesick when I look up in the skies and see my home planet.)
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To: Fiddlstix; tigtog

Yeah, but all the steel workers that are left, all zero of them? They're making $45 an hour.

So, y'know, there's that.


12 posted on 09/22/2006 1:01:24 PM PDT by pogo101
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To: A CA Guy

Parity isn't enough. There should be a small percentage PENALTY for sucking the public teat. Private sector workers are evidently worth what they're making because their employers stay in business, and they can be fired if not.

No such regulating action exists for gubmint "workers", plus there needs to be a correction for the fact they're living off the labors of the productive sector of society, therefore they should work at a slight discount, say 7-10%.


13 posted on 09/22/2006 1:02:28 PM PDT by Still Thinking (Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?)
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To: BipolarBob

You won't get flamed from me because I recognize the legitimate values in unions. I have issues with unions but only legitimate ones.


14 posted on 09/22/2006 1:02:55 PM PDT by cripplecreek (If stupidity got us into this mess, then why can't it get us out?)
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To: cripplecreek
I have issues with unions but only legitimate ones.

Is that like a Democrat who is not a racist?

15 posted on 09/22/2006 1:04:38 PM PDT by freedumb2003 (Insultification is the polar opposite of Niceosity)
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To: BipolarBob

I work in the private sector, and when I worked for someone else, I have to tell you, not one of them ever asked me to do anything like that. I realize it does happen, but if you apply probabilities to the outcome, you're probably worse off with the union bosses than the regular kind.


16 posted on 09/22/2006 1:05:07 PM PDT by Still Thinking (Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?)
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To: toast

That is one of the strangest posts I've read all week.


17 posted on 09/22/2006 1:06:40 PM PDT by Toby06 (Hydrogen is not a fuel source. Hydrogen is an energy storage method, like a battery.)
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To: BipolarBob

I wanted all those things too, so I went to college.


18 posted on 09/22/2006 1:07:33 PM PDT by Toby06 (Hydrogen is not a fuel source. Hydrogen is an energy storage method, like a battery.)
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To: BipolarBob

There's merit to some of your argument, but unions take it way beyond that. They don't want dumbass union members fired for being dumbasses. They want pay based on scale, not merit. They want inflexible work rules so that, for example, a drywaller doesn't sweep up his own dust, he has to wait for a janitor. They want to be assured jobs regardless of need.


19 posted on 09/22/2006 1:08:53 PM PDT by John Jorsett (scam never sleeps)
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To: Still Thinking

To each their own. Where I work is nothing like I see posted here. If you see someone in a different craft struggling with something, you are supposed to help that person. That is the Christian way, the company way and the union way. It is a team effort. As a job steward I get slammed for being too company. But I try to look out for the vulnerable worker and the companies best interest both.


20 posted on 09/22/2006 1:08:53 PM PDT by BipolarBob (I get homesick when I look up in the skies and see my home planet.)
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To: John Jorsett
Paycheck protection legislation has a clear negative effect on public sector union contributions to candidates for state legislative offices. These laws reduce union campaign donations by approximately 50 percent. The odds of random chance explaining these results are less than one percent.

That's why unions have fought these laws tooth and nail.

21 posted on 09/22/2006 1:10:35 PM PDT by Paleo Conservative
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To: John Jorsett
They don't want dumbass union members fired for being dumbasses.

I take issue with that one. Who hired Mr. Dumbass to start with? If he is truly inept, document it and prove it. It can be done. I don't want someone who is a safety hazard to themselves and others working in a precarious enviroment.

22 posted on 09/22/2006 1:11:44 PM PDT by BipolarBob (I get homesick when I look up in the skies and see my home planet.)
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Comment #23 Removed by Moderator

To: Fiddlstix

Economic evolution at work! Can't fool mother nature can they?


24 posted on 09/22/2006 1:12:54 PM PDT by litehaus (A memory tooooo long)
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To: BipolarBob

You sound like a good man, applying the same principles I applied to my coworkers when employed, that I now apply to my vendors and customers. I'm glad you found a situation you're happy with, whether that be in a union or out.

Funny story: I used to work in a company where my boss, the VP, was philosophically anti-union because he thought "each employee should be able to negotiate with the company on his own merits". I had some problems with unions in practice, but had no problem with the actual concept, so we ended up agreeing to disagree. I found out what a hypocrite he was when I learned that our company and three competitors in town had an agreement between their management not to hire each others employees.

So in the "mind" of my boss, collective bargaining of the small against the large is unfair, but collective bargaining of several larger entities against individual small entities is just hunky dory. What a maroon he was.


25 posted on 09/22/2006 1:28:51 PM PDT by Still Thinking (Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?)
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To: Still Thinking
Maybe that would be more fair, but I thought that would be less easy to understand and get done.
Parity suggests fairness maybe to begin with in this case.

In reality, they are mostly not worth a minimum wage and would not be capable of getting a job in the private sector.
26 posted on 09/22/2006 1:31:29 PM PDT by A CA Guy (God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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To: Still Thinking

You saw through his hypocrisy. The problem that is faced is that with power and authority comes resposibility and some supervisors cannot overcome their base desires to feel good about themselves by degrading and humiliating others. A union is not the perfect answer but it does level the playing field somewhat. There are abuses on both sides to be sure. The companies and societies best interest are set aside in this category.


27 posted on 09/22/2006 1:37:51 PM PDT by BipolarBob (I get homesick when I look up in the skies and see my home planet.)
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To: BipolarBob
I take issue with that one. Who hired Mr. Dumbass to start with? If he is truly inept, document it and prove it. It can be done.

Does making a mistake in hiring a dumbass mean that you should have to keep him on forever? Sure, there are typically ways to get rid of somebody, but the union seeks to make them as onerous as possible. The worst examples are teacher's unions whose contracts have firing procedures so convoluted, lengthy, and adversarial that principals rarely exercise them no matter how bad the teacher is.

28 posted on 09/22/2006 1:38:04 PM PDT by John Jorsett (scam never sleeps)
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To: John Jorsett
Does making a mistake in hiring a dumbass mean that you should have to keep him on forever?

If he is truly inept, document it and prove it. It can be done.

I have come across BAD teachers and other dumbasses. I do want them terminated. The administration is too lethargic and lazy to do their job of documentation. My son was left out-of-state on a school trip because the teacher didn't do a head count. My son was at the appointed time/place but the teacher left early because of the weather. They should have fired her.

29 posted on 09/22/2006 1:47:39 PM PDT by BipolarBob (I get homesick when I look up in the skies and see my home planet.)
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To: tigtog

There are many steel workers, at Nucor and Oregon Steel for instance; both nonunion, very competitive companies.


30 posted on 09/22/2006 2:21:00 PM PDT by Jimnorwellwarren
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To: Baynative
But, not to finance their campaign with confiscated dues and pension fund money.

Or to send union business agents to go work for political campaigns while supposely working for union shops in the area.

31 posted on 09/22/2006 2:29:02 PM PDT by ReformedBeckite
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To: AbeKrieger

Two things I will never do under any circumstances: work for the government or join a union.


32 posted on 09/22/2006 2:32:34 PM PDT by shempy (EABOF)
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To: BipolarBob

Thank you for this post. As a former JS and Bus. Rep. I always found myself stuck between trying to keep the membership happy and the employers. I always stuck to the contract. If the union member wasn't happy then I would encourage him to bring it to the next meeting, but we are not going to have the discussion on the shop floor. As the same goes I would fight with everything I had available if the employer was trying to violate the contract. They were usually just trying to find ways around a clause or trying to save a buck at the cost of us giving up precedence. I always won because I knew if I gave in that one time then they would expect it again in the future.

Proud to be a Republican, Conservative, Fully Armed, Union Member.

NO2


33 posted on 09/22/2006 3:48:32 PM PDT by No2much3 (I did not ask for this user name, but I will keep it !)
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