Videos: Three faces of forced unionism and political contributions

posted at 8:40 am on February 14, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Last week, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held a hearing into forced unionism and the misleading ways in which unions use the dues and other contributions for political purposes.  The committee will release three videos of witnesses who discussed their own experiences with being denied a choice in joining a union in order to highlight the problem.  First up is Terry Bowman, Ford assembly-line worker who wants his First Amendment freedom of association restored — and a way out of contributing to political causes with which he disagrees:

Next is Claire Waites, a teacher from Alabama, who describes how the NEA pulls a bait-and-switch with its “children’s fund,” which is nothing more than a PAC for electing Democrats:

But by far the most heartbreaking story comes from Sally Coomer, who was forced to join the SEIU by the state of Washington because she received Medicaid for caring for her developmentally-disabled daughter. They take $95 a month out of the funds she needs to give care to her daughter, which “is going to causes I do not support,” and which could pay for several hours of care:

I wrote about this last November, when both Michigan and Minnesota tried to extend this forced-unionism into day-care operations as well as home-care situations. There is no reason to force parents who receive Medicaid to care for developmentally-disabled children into unions, except to pick their pockets for the benefit of union bosses and political parties. It’s positively ghoulish, as I wrote at the time, and only the efforts of Republican-controlled legislatures in both states kept them from forcing babysitters into unions.

The Oversight Committee promises more investigations into forced unionism:

On February 8th, the Committee published a report finding that the Obama Administration and recent court cases have directly contributed to the loss of workplace freedom as well as worker rights violations endured by Ms. Coomer, Mr. Bowman and Ms. Waites.  As the federal government aids and abets these violations, union leaders spent more than $1.1 billion on partisan politics during the 2010 election cycle.  The Committee will continue to investigate the growing lack of accountability and transparency in how union leaders take dues money from rank-and-file members and spend that money on political causes many of their own members oppose.

The full report can be found here.

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