Membership At Gunpoint

10Mar11

What does  Rhode Island General Law (RIGL) 28-14-3.1 say?

whenever any employer provides for a payroll deduction for any purpose, the employer shall transfer those funds deducted to the appropriate person, agency, partnership, or corporation entitled to the money deducted

So what does that lawyer-speak actually say?  It basically says that all union dues must be automatically deducted from its members paychecks and sent to the union.

That’s an interesting law, wouldn’t you say?  Not only is Rhode Island a “closed shop” and not a “right to work” state, but when you take a job and become a part of the union, your dues are withdrawn from your paycheck before you even see your money.  You have no choice.

So there must be some benefit, some advantage to being in the union.  Of course there is!  And more!

All of that sounds so awesome.  So beneficial.  So if it is so great, why don’t I have the option to 1) not be a member and 2) pay my own dues?

I’m a member of some professional organizations and some clubs.  Let’s take the YMCA for example.  They don’t require payroll deduction.  They do offer a voluntary bank withdrawal, but I choose to sign up for that and can end it at any time.  I can also mail a check each month or even walk in to my Y branch and pay them in cash each month.  I value their service and the benefits that I receive by being a member and paying my dues there each month.  If I don’t pay my dues, I’ll no longer be eligible for the benefits I receive.  So I continue to pay it.

Why isn’t it the same for unions?  If they’re so great and so beneficial to people, then why is their money taken before they even have access to it.  Let’s drop this law and let the union members pay their dues themselves.  Or at least make the payroll deduction optional.   Why force it?

Unless the union leadership is afraid that its members don’t really value their services and fear the withholding of dues by its members!  *gasp*

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