Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

Final Scorecard: No Union, 1,036 – UFCW, 2

Remember the recent story we mentioned about some  nurses who weren’t happy with the idea of being represented by either SEIU or UFCW? There are new details today, and we think it’s worth noting. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports:

St. John’s nurses had three choices. They could vote for continued representation by their current union, the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 655, or switch to Service Employees International Union, a union supported by the UFCW, or for “neither,” meaning they would have no union representation.

A total of 1,036 of St. John’s nurses voted for neither, 685 voted for SEIU and two voted for UFCW. The vote was ratified this week by the National Labor Relations Board.

That’s 1,036 people who were unhappy with their current union and two — 2! — who were happy. That’s not all, though. There is a powerful story about the power of union officials to compel their members to pay for “services.” As the Post-Dispatch reports:

The results were not a complete surprise. St. John’s nurses accepted an “open shop” clause in their contract in 2005, which means they could opt out of paying union dues. Only about a fifth of the nurses continued paying dues, though the union represented them all.