Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

10 New Year’s Resolutions for Union Officials

1. Don’t Eliminate Secret Ballots
Labor leaders are trying to pass a bill in Congress that would effectively eliminate employees’ right to vote in private when decided to join a union.

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2. Provide Fair Representation
Union members have filed thousands of complaints against their leaders for failing
to represent their interests. 

3. Allow Growth
Unionized employees are generally denied the flexibility to broaden their experience because of rigid job classifications.

4. End Union Gag Rules
Employees must abide by a set of rules called union ?by-laws? and the union ?constitution.? These rules restrict what employees can say and how they can act. Union ?discipline? is often maintained through fines and penalties for ?conduct unbecoming a union member.?

5. End High Dues
Employees must support the local and international union by paying union dues and fees. In most states, the union can require that you be fired if you refuse to pay them. Union dues and fees range from hundreds to thousands of dollars each year.

6. Provide a Voice
Union rules often deny employees the right to deal directly with an employer about promotions, pay increases, time off, and other incentives and benefits. As a unionized employee, you must go through union ?middlemen? who decide whether to take your request to management.

7. Encourage Merit Pay
Union rules generally oppose pay raises and promotions based on individual employee performance. Mandatory seniority rules typically control who gets increases in pay and who is promoted.

8. End Biased Politics
Federal records indicate that in 2007 and 2008 unions gave 90 percent of their political money to Democrat politicians,3 even though union membership is more politically balanced.

9. Stop Discrimination
Since 2000, labor officials have faced thousands of complaints alleging racial, sexual, and other forms of discrimination filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.2

10. Stop Embezzlement
The U.S. Department of Labor has documented nearly one hundred million dollars embezzled from union members?usually by union officials.1


1 Office of Labor-Management Standards, U.S. Department of Labor, 2 Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 3 Federal Election Commission records, analyzed by the Center for Responsive Politics


Categories: Center for Union FactsEFACEnding Secret Ballots