Right to Work is WRONG (for union bosses)

Michigan was the last state that passed a Right-To-Work law.
Michigan was the last state that passed a Right-To-Work law.
Michigan was the most recent state to pass a Right-To-Work law.
This story was originally published at Watchdog.org.

When labor unions insist right-to-work laws are “wrong,” what they really mean is right-to-work laws are wrong for union bosses.

Union bosses have a financial interest in fighting right-to-work. On the books in 24 states and being considered in New Mexico, Missouri, Wisconsin and elsewhere, right-to-work laws allow workers to choose whether to pay unions.

Right-to-work laws do nothing to prevent workers from forming, joining, or bargaining through a union, so union officials are stuck fabricating reasons Americans should be forced to pay unions for their own good.

In a particularly silly attempt to defend forced unionism, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees recently promoted a graphic blaming right-to-work for workplace deaths. Here is a Watchdog.org take on that graphic, which was originally created by union front group We Are Ohio:

Watchdog.org graphic. Data from the U.S. Deptartment of Labor

Hundreds of labor union officers and employees in Washington, D.C., are paid with money taken from workers who must contribute to unions as a condition of employment. Unions can take mandatory fees from private-sector workers in 26 states, and from government workers in 23 states.

AFSCME President Lee Saunders, paid a total of $350,058 in 2013, was one of 17 AFSCME headquarters officers and employees who received more than $200,000 from the government union. AFSCME took forced dues from 130,920 nonmembers in 2013, based on its annual report to the Department of Labor.

American Federation of Teachers, the country’s second-largest teachers union, paid its president, Randi Weingarten, a total of $557,875 in 2014. Weingarten’s gross salary alone was $375,174, and she was one of 19 AFT officers and employees paid more than $200,000.

Lily Eskelsen Garcia, president of the National Education Association, was paid $345,728 as the union’s vice president in 2014. Union officers and employees in NEA’s Washington, D.C., headquarters were paid an average of $127,620 last year.

Outgoing NEA president Dennis Van Roekel was paid $541,632 with money taken from teachers and other school staff. Van Roekel and Eskelsen Garcia were among 45 NEA headquarters officers and employees paid more than $200,000 while NEA took forced dues from 90,255 nonmembers.

Although NEA, AFSCME and AFT — all public-sector labor unions — are three of America’s largest unions, other labor bosses are paid even more. Terry O’Sullivan, president of Laborers International Union of North America, was paid $663,981 and Transportation Communications Union President Bob Scardelletti was paid $641,215 in 2013.

Contrary to agitated union claims that right-to-work is “wrong,” backed by union-funded research and colorful graphics from front groups like Jobs With Justice and We Are Ohio, unions are big businesses looking out for their own interests.

NEA headquarters took $362 million from educators last year, while AFT headquarters took $169 million. AFSCME headquarters collected $179 million from government workers in 2013.


  1. I am a union employee I’ll pay union dues for safe working conditions fair and better treatment and better wages . But under right to work laws I would have none of that all right to work does is to under mine all of what unions so hard to get and as far as my union bosses make is fine with me and should be with any union employee I’d rather see them get that to represent me and my fellow brothers and sisters to make sure we get a fair shake than some congress men or senators or company that doesn’t give a rats ass about me or mine so answer you’re question it is wrong because I like fair working conditions pension plans and better pay check you’re stacts you don’t get that under right to work states


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