Growing up in a blue-collar, steel mill town, many of my family were union members. They were – and are – hardworking people, and were just trying to support their families. Unions once played an important role in our nation, having given employees the opportunity to negotiate fair wages and provide safe work environments.
But these goals are long gone and instead unions have become long arms of the Democratic Party, bullying those they disagree with and contributing significant dollars for liberal candidates, most who are far to the left of the country’s majority conservative social viewpoints.
Union PACs are clearly in the pockets of Democrats. Last year during the 2010 election cycle, 93% of all union PAC money – almost $60 million – was given unapologetically to Democratic candidates, almost all of them staunch advocates of abortion. But this is merely union PAC money. If all big labor spending is taken into account, that number tops over $1.4 billion dollars during the 2010 elections, a non-presidential year cycle.
Abortion is a sacred cow for the social Left. Federal funding for Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion chain, tops $350 million a year. President Obama, who was elected with the help of significant union money, was prepared to shut down the federal government this year rather than defund Planned Parenthood.
Following the money trail, labor unions pay heavily into the coffers of pro-choice candidates and government leaders. But what about those union members who are pro-life or find abortion morally objectionable but who have to pay union member dues in order to keep working? Tough luck. They have no choice. If they don’t pay their dues, they don’t get a paycheck. And because unions give nearly all of their money to Democrats, many of whom don’t value life in all its stages, there is no justification for fairness of dispersing campaign funds equally.
Before Andy Stern joined the Obama Administration in 2009, the then-President of one of the nation’s most influential unions, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) said that they spent a “fortune” to elect Obama, $60.7 million in fact.
Since becoming President, Obama has done everything he can to repay these unions for their unwavering support for his dismal presidency, including providing them with Obamacare waivers and countless taxpayer-funded handouts. He has also supported numerous anti-life provisions, including revoking the Mexico City policy and abortion-on-demand on an international level.
But this isn’t just a social issue. Fiscal conservatives should be equally concerned about the ways labor unions extract mandatory funds from their members to pay for big government, more regulation and an economy that is hanging by a thread because of the poor decisions of the leaders unions helped get into office.
The reason President Obama ignored Jimmy Hoffa’s blatant assault on the Tea Party at a Labor Day rally this year was because he depends on Hoffa’s union and all the others to get him back into office. The power the unions have is monopolizing. Union bosses gain power and make political deals in Washington by forcing employees to join their union and pay dues or lose their job.
Both social and fiscal conservative union members must demand that their dues be used to support their jobs and not go toward harming families, and states need to pass Right to Work legislation, which support employees’ decisions whether or not to join a labor union.
The union bosses are extraordinarily powerful and their causes are not only helping the economy to wither down to almost zero growth, but are also harming the most vulnerable among us, the unborn. It’s time to strip these bosses of their power and let union members decide for themselves who they want to fund.