Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

“that tyranny now is labor unions, not employers”

There is a lot of debate about whether unions, as an institution, still have a role in society. Our view at the Center for Union Facts is that anyone who wants a union should have one, so long as he or she gets it through a real private ballot vote. Since launching our organization, it’s become clear that the unions that “work” are almost always of the small, independent variety. The large unions have become bureaucratic and don’t respond to members’ needs or represent their interests. More proof comes today from an op-ed by a government employee in Maine.

Michael Smith, a database engineer in Maine and founder of, writes in the Bangor Daily News, that the record of Samuel Gompers has been ruined by the likes of the Service Employees International Union:

One hundred and thirty years later, despite all the gains that society has made, Maine state employees are still forced to organize and fight tyranny in the workplace. Ironically, the source of that tyranny now is labor unions, not employers. Workers who never wanted to participate in a union, especially one that is increasingly caught up in its “progressive” agenda to the detriment of representing actual workers, are required to either pay a “service” fee or be fired. This goes against the grain of everything unions worked for historically.

Smith specifically highlights SEIU, and explains his own campaign to fight SEIU (through its MSEA branch) and its ridiculous “fair share” fees:

Why the revolt? “Fair Share” is an important part of this, but not the only reason. Many of us feel that unions such as MSEA no longer represent our beliefs. They continually fail to protect state employees, while spending their considerable financial resources on issues only remotely related to their constituents. The “progressive” agenda is typically advanced first, often in conflict with the beliefs of many state employees. Working for state employees becomes an afterthought.

You have to read the whole thing. Now.

Categories: AFL-CIO