Katie Gage

Poorly funded worker pension plans and an all-time low in membership have left the new United Auto Workers (UAW) president deflecting blame. As a result, Bob King appears to view imposing unionization on auto companies as a means to clean up the mess both he and his fellow union bosses have created.

This new scheme would require foreign automakers that are opening plants in the United States to sign onto an agreement that would guarantee the UAW the opportunity to unionize their workers. And their first targets are businesses already established in the United States that aren’t currently unionized. So why the big push?

One main reason comes to mind: money. A number of national unions in the United States are struggling to fund their workers’ own pension plans. The decrease in membership in the last few decades coupled with ill-advised spending by Big Labor bosses has drained the much needed – and promised – pensions for throngs of union workers around the country who have worked for decades and paid into the system. Having been promised better benefits, these workers are expecting a full payout on their pensions as they should. But labor bosses – who have been frivolously spending union dues on retreats in resorts and other lavish expenses have now dug themselves a deep hole of debt and are scrambling for ways to make up revenue, starting with forcibly unionizing new workers.

Another reason why union bosses are having difficulty coming up with the resources to deliver on the promises they made to their own workers is that Big Labor has been pouring money into political campaigns over the past few years, with pledges to spend $50 million this election cycle after having spent nearly half a billion in 2008.

Organized labor’s large contributions to President Obama and other supporters of the union boss agenda in Washington weigh heavily on their minds when they see their lead agenda item – the Employee ‘Forced’ Choice Act (EFCA) – not getting traction in Congress. But the job-killing legislation remains at the top of their list because it would give more power to labor bosses to force unionization onto workers around the country. EFCA eliminates the secret ballot in union-organizing elections exposing workers to immense pressure and intimidation at the hands of these same bosses.


Katie Gage

Katie Gage is the executive director of the Workforce Fairness institute.