Letters to the Editor

Your views in 250 words or less

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.

*
The News Tribune now uses Facebook commenting on selected blogs. See editor's column for more details. Commenters are expected to abide by terms of service for Facebook as well as commenting rules for thenewstribune.com. Report violators to webmaster@thenewstribune.com.