Updated: October 26, 2013 6:33AM
In his recent letter, James Sweeney, president of Operating Engineers Local 150, is correct when he states “the fact is that federal law has for decades allowed workers to opt out of union membership and out of the costs of political activities with which they do not agree.”
What Sweeney conveniently omits is that workers may opt out of union membership but must still pay union dues. These members must pay a “fair share,” which is approximately 90 percent of regular union dues. The amount of dues that would go to political activities would be directed to some agreed-upon other use, such as a charity.
Right-to-work states, referenced in Sweeney’s letter, are where you simply do not have to join a union in order to work.