Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

Unions disregard members’ political preferences

Just in case you missed our last update on the subject, the reasons for ensuring paycheck protection for employees are piling up. According to the Associated Press:

A major labor union and an outside group committed to electing Democrats to the House have reserved nearly $20 million in television ad time for the fall in districts from Illinois to Florida as the party tries to reclaim the majority, The Associated Press has learned.

House Majority PAC, a so-called super political action committee that recently helped Democrats hold former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ Arizona seat, is investing $16 million, while the 2.1 million-member Service Employees International Union is spending $3.7 million, according to an official from the Democratic-leaning group who described planned spending.

Notwithstanding the fact that in 2010, exit polls showed that 42 percent of union households voted for Republican candidates, unions will skew their donations to one party.  In 2010, over 93 percent of union political support went to Democratic candidates.

Now, the SEIU is unabashedly working hand-in-hand with a Democrat super PAC.

The SEIU recently embarked on a grass-roots voter contact program.

“This partnership with House Majority PAC will ensure that the work being done by SEIU member volunteers at the doors, on the phones and in the neighborhoods is backed up by a vigorous paid media campaign,” SEIU national political director Brandon Davis said in a statement.

In 15 of 38 media markets, House Majority PAC and SEIU are either sharing the advertising costs or planning back-to-back reservations.

The Supreme Court got it right when it restricted SEIU Local 1000 from forcing non-members to pay for political activism without prior approval for these additional dues. But all union members deserve paycheck protection so that they are free to spend—or choose not to spend—their money on politics.

Categories: Center for Union FactsPolitical MoneySEIU