Not sold on my union, but forced to join and pay dues

By Knight Kiplinger
Sunday, June 13, 2010

Q I'm a young worker recently hired by a company whose wage-and-hour employees (like me) are represented by a union. I thought I would have a choice of whether to join the union.

Given the amount of union dues, the slim benefits of membership and my disagreement with the union's politics, I would rather have passed on membership. But under my state's law, I have to pay dues. Do you think this is fair?

No, I don't. I believe workers should have freedom of choice. Employees should have the right to invite a union to make its case and solicit members, free of employer intimidation, and fellow workers should have the freedom to oppose the organizing effort, free of union pressure.

Everyone should have the right to vote in a secret ballot on whether they want to be represented by the union. And, even if the union is certified as the collective-bargaining agent for that shop, workers should have the right not to join the union and pay dues.

-- Kiplinger's Personal Finance


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