Why might workers like the opportunity to opt out of union membership?
Some believe they can make better use of their own money rather than giving it to a union. Others “vote with their feet” against what they perceive to be poor union service or negotiating results. Still others leave because they oppose their unions’ political positions. They simply don’t want to support any organization that doesn’t share their political beliefs.
Many scientific surveys have been conducted to see how the public and members of union households feel about these issues. A survey conducted for this year’s National Employee Freedom Week asked members of union households this question:
“Are you aware that you can opt-out of union membership and of paying a portion of your union dues without losing your job or any other penalty?”
Surprisingly, over 27 percent of Oregon union household members surveyed answered No. This implies that over 65,000 of Oregon’s some 243,000 union members don’t realize that membership and some dues are optional.
The right to work without third-party interference is more than an economic issue; it is a profoundly moral one as well. In America, no one should be compelled to join a union or to pay union dues in order to hold a job. For more information about how employee choice can benefit Oregon workers, visit oregonemployeechoice.com.
Kathryn Hickok is Publications Director at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free-market public policy research organization.