Letters to the Editor

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UNIONS: State workers forced to join, pay up

Letter by John Melton, University Place on March 16, 2011 at 1:51 pm | 60 Comments »
March 16, 2011 2:16 pm

I retired from the state Department of Labor & Industries in June 2010. As a condition of my continued employment with the state, I was required in 2004 to join the union, the Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE).

I did not have a choice. I was told that either I join the union or I would lose my job. Yes, I could petition to be a non-voting member of the union and pay a little less each month. However, the petitioning process was burdensome and required me to petition anew each year. So, I acquiesced after the first year and unwillingly became a full member of the AFSE.

My employer (Labor & Industries) functioned as the bag man for the union and withheld union dues from my paycheck each month. My right to work was denied by collective bargaining. I submit that if state workers in Washington were not required to join the union as a condition of employment, most would choose not to join.

Collective bargaining has become a politically driven system in Washington state which extorts my income (1.5 percent of my monthly pay) and denies my right to work.

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