Regarding Cindy Omlin’s July 12 letter: No one is forced into unionism. Federal law says that anywhere there is a labor agreement, employees must be represented equally regardless of membership status. Union Security Agreements ensure that every employee working under the contract pay their fair share.
Some employees may not want to be union members, but they still gain the benefits collective agreements bring. Why they should not pay their share? The Abood decision specifically stated that the dues taken by a bargaining unit could only be used for specific purposes of representation and negotiation on behalf of those employees covered by the collective bargaining agreement.
It is against the law to donate to political candidates using dues dollars. Those donations come from voluntary contributions made to PAC funds, the same kind of PAC funds utilized by millionaires to influence politicians.
Dues can be used to lobby for legislation that is of benefit to the membership. That is a part of the representational benefit of working under a collective agreement. Further, dues amounts are not tied into wages. However, right-to-work is tied into wages. Considering teacher salaries in Idaho, maybe Omlin is comparing the wrong things.