Unions Fight to Use Dues for Politics

By Jarrett Skorup, Mackinac Center for Public Policy 

One thing heard constantly in the debate over right-to-work laws is that workers in unionized workplaces do have a choice since they can avoid paying for union political funding by exercising their “Beck Rights.” This is (kinda) true, but it should be noted that unions have always fought —and continue to fight — against this right.

Beck Rights” are based on a 1988 Supreme Court case that holds that employees can opt out of the political portion of their dues. The case has been severely gutted over the years by judicial interpretations, but basically means that if a worker chooses, the union cannot use their agency fee money to directly fund political candidates.

But for all their talk about this option, labor unions have consistently fought to prevent it.


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