Several stories from the last few weeks may perhaps inspire many union members to wonder just who the union is working for.
One of the more spectacular headlines of recent weeks is the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment scandal. Someone finally realized that “no entity should be more shaken by the story than the union that for decades failed to protect its members.” SAG-AFTRA supposedly has a zero-tolerance policy on sexual harassment. Jacobin writer Morgan Spector highlighted, “Recently, I conducted an informal survey among my female friends in the industry…, and while every single person said they’d experienced or knew someone who’d experienced harassment or violence, none of them knew anyone who had turned to the union for help.” In essence, the union’s policies and procedures are so inadequate that no one has ever believed they could receive any help from that quarter, and should provoke questions about the dubious value of the organization.
When the CWA and the IBEW announced a coordinated strike up and down the East Coast, Pamela Ivy and Cheryl Allison resigned their membership from the CWA in order to continue to work and support their families. The CWA illegally attempted to fine them nearly $40,000, once again attempting to violate the rights of the very workers they claim to ‘represent.’
In Oregon, a pro-union healthcare worker had this experience to share about SEIU Local 503:
Local 503 leadership is not responsive to members’ concerns, issues or questions. Calls to headquarters are answered by a machine, but the receptionist makes over $50,000 a year. Calls to the member resource center are answered by a machine and may not get returned for days. Yet, most organizers make $50,000 to $90,000 a year. The board of directors meeting agendas do not include members’ issues or concerns as items. Instead, the top two items are Finance Committee and Political Report. I asked to have an item placed on the agenda and my request was denied…The SEIU Local 503 bylaws contain members’ rights but do not contain any recourse or remedy when leadership or staff violates members’ rights. SEIU Local 503 resembles George Orwell’s Animal Farm: ‘All members are equal but some members are more equal than others.’
And finally, if you dig into the details of political contributions made by unions, one may think that Big Labor is simply a funding conduit siphoning dues money for Democrat/Progressive causes. Fully 99% of the $756 million given to political causes or groups from 2012 to 2016 ended in the pockets of leftist causes and candidates, even though at least 40% of union voters are Republican/conservative.