Unions don’t want balance, they want to preserve their monopoly


 Paul Parmley president of the NCW Labor Council, has some peculiar ideas about what constitutes a “balanced political process.” 

In his June 8 response (“Teachers’ Unions Not Broken”) to Jami Lund’s May 17 guest opinion (“21st Century Unionism Starting in Central Washington”), Parmley accuses Lund and the organization he and I work for of wanting to “dismantl(e) a balance of political thought that has been the cornerstone of what makes our democratic institutions a beacon to the rest of the world.”

In fact, just the opposite true. Absent right-to-work protections like those found in the majority of states, the playing field in Washington is nowhere close to being level because conservatives are forced to rely on voluntary campaign donations while liberal candidates can count on massive support from unions whose revenue is extorted from people compelled to give it.

On paper, teachers and other public-sector workers have the right to opt out of full union dues and pay only an agency fee that doesn’t include what the union spends on politics. But in practice, the unions make this process so painful and complicated that few actually take advantage of it.

When workers are given a fair chance to opt out, they do so in droves. And the unions know it. That’s why the prospect of their members exercising – or even knowing about – their constitutional rights is so terrifying to them and the leftist politicians who benefit from this unfair monopoly.

Notwithstanding his laughably stated concerns, the last thing Mr. Parmley and the union leaders for whom he shills have in mind is fairness and balance. What they desperately want is to preserve a status quo under which the campaigns of candidates he doesn’t like can only be funded by people using their own money while his friends have almost unlimited access to someone else’s.


Jeff Rhodes

The Freedom Foundation


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