by James Sherk
The Heritage Foundation
July 16, 2014
Government unions spend their members’ mandatory dues heavily on political causes that the union leadership supports. They do so without asking their members’ permission, and irrespective of the preferences of their membership. Taxpayers subsidize government union political fundraising through the publicly funded payroll system. The government automatically takes union dues out of government employees’ paychecks. This system privileges union bosses and their priorities at the expense of union members and taxpayers who hold different views. This spending does not reflect workers’ desires. When unions must ask workers for permission to spend their dues on political causes, political spending drops dramatically. Paycheck-protection laws allow workers to decide how they want to spend their money instead of union officers deciding for them. Ending the taxpayer-funded collection of union dues would be an important step toward empowering workers and eliminating taxpayer subsidies to special interest groups.

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