EXCLUSIVE – Big labor groups have sent over $1 billion to left-leaning groups since the start of the decade without prior approval from the unions’ members, according to eye-opening new research.
The report from the Center for Union Facts (CUF) showed that a total of more than $1.1 billion in member dues was sent to groups such as the Democratic Governors Association, Planned Parenthood and the Clinton Foundation from unions including the AFL-CIO, IBEW, UNITE HERE and many others. The CUF said that under current labor law, union officials can send money obtained through member dues on political advocacy without obtaining any sort of “opt-in” permission.
“For decades, union officials have betrayed working Americans by spending their dues dollars to advance a left-wing political agenda—without prior approval,” Luka Ladan, spokesman for the Center for Union Facts, told Fox News. “Big Labor is now the ATM of the Democratic Party, whether employees agree or not.”
Included among the top recipients are the Democratic Governors Association with over $14.1 million, America Votes with near $13 million, and the Center for American Progress with over $6.2 million.
Among the hundreds of other organizations that received money from big unions are aligned party groups like the Working Families Party, Progressive Majority, Media Matters for America, Brennan Center for Justice, and Al Sharpton’s National Action Network.
Requests for comment sent to the United Auto Workers, SEIU and the AFL-CIO were not immediately returned.
The CUF is lobbying for approval of the Employee Rights Act in Washington to reverse current labor laws which would allow union members the right to determine where their dues are going.
The act would protect employees by requiring union leadership to obtain prior approval before spending dues money on political advocacy. A separate study by the CUF shows that about 80 percent of Americans – including those in union households – support a paycheck protection provision as well as other ERA reforms.
“The Employee Rights Act would hold union officials accountable to their members, not Democratic elites,” Ladan said. “The ERA would substantially update American labor law for the first time since the 1940s. The ERA would prevent union officials from spending dues dollars on political advocacy without prior member approval, protecting employees who may not support a left-wing political agenda.
“In doing so, the ERA would finally hold union officials accountable to their members and democratize workplaces nationwide.”