Forced union dues collection: Bigger problem than most realize


Letter to the Editor

Unions of government workers in Oregon have lavish bank accounts resulting from mandatory dues payments by state workers, who currently have no choice whether to support the union financially or not.

Many voters applaud current efforts to mount initiatives giving state employees a choice whether to join or pay dues to a union or not. There has been difficulty in obtaining a fair ballot title from the Attorney General and Supreme Court, and it isn’t certain that an initiative will reach the ballot, given the apparent alliances between the unions and current incumbents in State government.

Controversy over the ballot title is part of a much larger issue: that of the excessive power government unions have managed to garner for themselves and how they are using that power. Union leaders can be just as aggressive as any corporation executive, and in bargaining with a government agency there is less incentive for bureaucrats to hold wages/benefits at reasonable levels because the money doesn’t come out of their pockets or balance sheet. There are almost no brakes on what these unions can demand and get, as they hold a big purse for their preferred candidates’ campaigns.

What is especially galling to many unwilling union members is that the unions are so active politically in aiding the Democratic Party and its left-wing causes, in particular open borders and benefits enticing illegal immigration.  Wages have fallen proportionately with the arrival of millions of illegal and legal job-seekers to the U.S. This hurts citizens financially, as well as degrading their quality of life due to overpopulation and stresses on the environment.

The SEIU (Service Employees International Union) Local 503 spent $100,000 in support of giving official driver cards to illegal aliens in the November 2014 Oregon election (Measure 88).1 Other unions also contributed substantial sums.

How does massive immigration help citizen workers or citizens generally? It helps only the wealthy and the teachers and social workers needed to dispense benefits to the millions of poor foreign-born. Unions should be opposing illegal and excessive legal immigration. They should not be allowed to collect mandatory dues from state employees who realize the union’s policies are harmful to them and to this country.

The nation’s immigrant population (legal and illegal) hit a record 42.4 million in July 2014, an increase of 2.4 million since July 2010. The Pew Research Center has released a new report that projects the U.S. population will reach 441 million in 2065 – an increase of 117 million from the current number. Over the next 50 years, Pew projects that 88 percent of this increase will be due to immigration.

Trade unions supporting open borders and massive immigration are in reality in league with business interests who want the same thing, but this is not what average citizens want. Citizens are finding out, more and more, that they’re the losers in such policies.

State workers who object to being forced to take money out of their salaries to give to unions that work against the best interests of the public and the nation are fighting for the future for themselves and their fellow citizens.

There are many problems in current immigration management. Serious fraud and abuses exist in the visa programs, and the overall volume of immigration is much too high to be sustainable.

Unions, especially unions of government workers, should work to help solve these problems, but they do not. It appears some union leaders are ideologically opposed to national boundaries.

An important step in righting the present untenable situation is to stop mandatory dues payments to government worker unions. To accomplish this through the State Legislature, we need to elect more legislators who will sponsor and support the change, and who will truly represent the interests of citizens. We need to elect Attorney Generals and to install court judges who will ensure that ballot titles are neutral and will describe an initiative in accurate, understandable language.

Elizabeth Van Staaveren
Long-time member of Oregonians for Immigration Reform
McMinnville, Oregon

1ORESTAR records for the 2014 campaign of YES on Oregon Safe Roads (i.d.#16889) $10,000 on 5/14/14; $45,000 on 8/27/14; $22,500 on 9/24/14; $22,500 on 10/15/14

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Posted by at 06:17 | Posted in Illegal Immigration, Public Employee Unions | 18 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • DavidAppell

    What about when corporate executives are forced to give to those (Republicans) favored by their higher-ups?

    • Eric Blair

      Or when share holders become captive participants when they don’t get to opt out.

      • thevillageidiot

        the general shareholders are trying to change that. But, for the same reason as the union the bosses in charge, the corporate heads have the capability to prevent any change. As George Carlin said, its an exclusive club and we ain’t in it. This is well regulated commerce.

        • I have made $ 7854 pe r m0nth. I’m finally getting 97 Dollars p/h,….It’s time to take some action and you can join it too.It is simple,dedicated and easy way to get rich.Three weeks from now you will wish you have started today….

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      • Dick Winningstad

        Shareholders are free to sell their shares if the company is not what they want.

        • HBguy

          Shareholders need the information from the corporation as to what the corporation and its officers are doing with the corporate treasury. But disclosure laws are fought tooth and nail by corporations.
          And, is it fair that I have to pay a fee to sell my shares because the new corporate executive decides to start supporting politicians I dislike?

          • Dick Winningstad

            Again, You are free to sell your shares or vote the board out if they are not behaving as you want.

          • HBguy

            So you would support a law that required corporations to reveal on their annual reports what political contributions it made? Because this about the only way for a shareholder to get that information. Can’t really decide to sell your shares without information. Yet corporations oppose these mandatory disclosures.
            If you don’t support some disclosure requirements then your argument is phony.

          • Dick Winningstad

            Nice conclusions on your part. But no I do not support what you said. Corporations, and unions, are forbidden to make campaign contributions.

            Though corporations, and unions, can establish PACs which are required to report their support to the public.



        • I have made $ 7854 pe r m0nth. I’m finally getting 97 Dollars p/h,….It’s time to take some action and you can join it too.It is simple,dedicated and easy way to get rich.Three weeks from now you will wish you have started today….

          ===>>> See web Address in my Profile


    • thevillageidiot

      and Democrats. Republicans are not the only evil rich but then they support all the programs and conficscations of which you approve.

    • Dick Winningstad

      Forced? How so? And you can’t work if you refuse to pay dues.

      • DavidAppell

        Oh please. Do you really not think that upper-level executives get strong “suggestions” (quote-unquote) about how they should give money?

  • jmfay

    We like your article but maybe this is not the case in OR as you did manage to get the drivers license law killed; but this seems to be the case in a lot of the rest of the country. That is both parties are all for helping illegals and don’t care about average working US citizens.
    Just being honest here and it was probably one of your Senators as you have at least one Dem that killed the anti sanctuary bill in the Congress as the Dems except for 2 voted all to not allow a vote (and the 2 were from IN and WV) so do you think you could ask them to do right by us too? Just asking as that’s reality in this country.
    NO amnesty. NO work permits. NO nothing but deportation.

  • Jack Lord God

    The idea that union dues are payable in any other form than a magazine postcard tear out is absurd. You want to join a club? Go ahead. But please, if we are going to allow government to collect the dues let us also allow the NRA and Columbia Record club to also directly draw from an employees paycheck.

  • Ricky

    All must pay or none will play. I resent some buffoon riding on my dollars to get a sweet contract…85K a year including benefits for less than 9 months of “work” is not something you could ever pull off without union help. So, pay your share or get a different gig.
    You know what I am saying???
    No more freeloaders for me….I pay mine, so shall all others.

    • Dick Winningstad

      Sounds like you are freeloading on the tax payer. Used to be that public sevice was a guaranteed reasonable income with retirement. No more. Now it i high salries and State bankrupting retirement plans.

  • HBguy

    i’d consider supporting a rule whereby any worker would opt out of the union and pay no dues as long as the union only came into existence after the worker started working at the employer. And as long as the union was forbidden from negotiating any employment terms on behalf of the non union members.
    An employee should not be allowed to get a union job – one they apparently want and desire because of the pay and benefits and work conditions – then opt out of paying the cost of the union. If they don’t want to belong to a union, don’t apply for the job.
    That seems pretty simple. Like selling the shares of a corporation when the CEO decides to give to pols you don’t like.

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