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Union dues: Enough!

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Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

In Pennsylvania, where anti-union teachers and like-minded state employees nevertheless must pay their so-called “fair share,” union dues are regarded as sacrosanct. So much so that the state facilitates their collection from government employees' paychecks.

Adding further insult to pre-existing injury, rank-and-file members have no say in their unions' political agenda, the funding of which in Pennsylvania is significant.

In 2012 that sum amounted to nearly $5 million spent by the state's primary government unions, writes Bob Dick for the Commonwealth Foundation. The Pennsylvania State Education Association alone doled out more than $3 million from dues for lobbying and political action.

Among some of the big-ticket items was $1 million reportedly spent in advertising against liquor privatization by the United Food and Commercial Workers. And, rest assured, the “message” was received: The Legislature, despite GOP majorities in the House and Senate, has stalled and otherwise diluted bills for full liquor privatization.

This, when survey after survey shows Pennsylvanians want privatization of the state's Prohibition-era liquor monopoly.

No citizen, regardless of union membership, should be forced to subsidize any cause. Nor should the state be an accomplice to this union thuggery by using public resources to collect union dues.

From this unrelenting nightmare, the state Legislature must awake and end unions' stranglehold.

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