Unions Dislike Free Riders

Let me see if I have this right

Unions ask, “Should workers who are covered by collective bargaining agreements be permitted to be ‘free riders’ and receive union protections and benefits without paying for them?”

Unions argue that right-to-work laws mean less revenues in the form of members’ dues.

I was a dues-paying member of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers for 38 years before retiring in 2007. I have seen firsthand how those teachers who chose not to become union members and pay dues benefited from the collective bargaining agreements that our union members had to make numerous sacrifices for, like going out on strike, being jailed and being beaten up on picket lines.

I believe that every person has the right not to join a labor union, whether in the private or public sector. What they don’t have the right to do is reap the rewards of the gains made by union members through collective bargaining agreements without having had to pay any price of their own. (Emphasis mine – Bob)

Unions are objecting to people receiving benefits without paying for them, right?

And yet they voted for Obama who is pushing to do exactly that except he calls it making the rich pay their fair share.

The nation’s labor unions have not been shy about claiming substantial credit for President Obama’s re-election.

In a news conference Wednesday, Richard Trumka, the A.F.L.-C.I.O.’s president, said that without the huge push by the nation’s labor unions, Mr. Obama never would have won Ohio, Wisconsin and Nevada — and their combined 34 electoral votes.

“We did deliver those states,” Mr. Trumka said. “Without organized labor, none of those states would have been in the president’s column.


Please join the discussion.

6 Responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Divemedic on 11.12.12 at 14:00

    I see little difference between corporations and unions. A corporation is a legal fiction that is treated by the law as a person. Corporations are where a group of people band their resources to get privileges and benefits that they could not get individually. So is a union.

  2. Posted by Bob S. on 11.12.12 at 14:00


    The difference in my opinion is the corporation does not force the individual to participate if they are unwilling.

    I don’t have to shop at Walmart, I don’t have to buy stock in Exxon, I don’t have to be represented by a law firm unless I chose to.

    A union wants to be able to require each and every person to join, to pay dues, to be represented by it. But each and every person doesn’t get to vote on whether or not there should be a union in the first place.

    I would be more likely to support mandated union membership IF every year or so there was a vote on the presence of the union.

  3. Posted by Divemedic on 11.12.12 at 14:00

    Try and run a business that isn’t a corporation: you are open to extra taxes and legal liability that you would not be, if your business were a corporation. Once THAT stage is set, you get this:


    FYI: I am against closed shop laws, but I don’t see where corporations act any better than unions.

  4. Posted by kx59 on 11.12.12 at 14:00

    No argument there. Corporations misbehave at every opportunity. The difference is that the corporations can not legally force their employees to “join” or work for the corporation. In Michigan, until just the past couple of days, Union membership was compulsory. Now that I think about it, essentially a work tax in form of union dues.

  5. Posted by Geodkyt on 11.12.12 at 14:00

    I agree with Bob in this respect:

    A non-union employee has no inherent right to expect the SAME contract as the one teh union has negotiated for THEIR MEMBERS. On the other hand, there is no reason why an employer cannot offer an equal or better contract (even the same exact contract) to their non-union employees as they have negotiated with their union employees.

    If teh employer treats all their non-union employees like serfs, then those employees can (and probably should) voluntarily join the union. Problem solved.

    If teh employer treats their non-union employees at least as well as they treat their union employees, then those union members can (and probably should) voluntarily leave the union. Problem solved.

    In other words, “Right to Work” laws such as the Michigan law do not take a damned thing away from union MEMBERS, only from union OFFICIALS and the extremist politicians they bribe with their member’s money.

  6. Posted by kx59 on 11.12.12 at 14:00

    Teacher’s union, beaten up on picket line?
    yeah right. pbbbbft.
    I call Bull**** on that.