By federal law, you can not be required to be a member of a union. But, depending on your state law and the contract where you are, you may be required to pay a fee for the benefits of the union contract. If you are in a so called "right to work" state, that would not be the case. Both membership and dues are voluntary in those states. If you are in a state, like California, that allows agency shop contracts, then you can choose to be what is called a "Beck objector" in which case you are not a member of the union and pay the portion of dues that goes to pay for collective bargaining costs but not the part that goes to pay for political activity. That's usually in the ballpark of 90% of full dues and, since you are choosing not to be a full member you don't have a vote in anything like contract ratification.
Thanks for the info David. The politics poll was mainly to discover if people actually think that taxing Wall Street more will create more jobs. I'm not a "rich" guy, I just have a hard time understanding how making the "rich" pay more will create more opportunity for those of us who are not. Thanks again.
A good union is not there to make the "rich" (I'm assuming you mean individual corporate fat-cats) earn less by spreading his or her wealth to those who are further down the ladder in the company.
It is there to ensure a balance between the worker and the employment entity. It draws lines in the sand and sets rules by which both sides must play, to the benefit of both.
BTW, since you have such objections to your union, I'm sure you forego the wage and benefit increases your union negotiates for you. After all, that would be the moral thing to do since you find your union so odious.
Just the fact that this poll is getting these kinds of results is proof that people don't know what their unions are doing behind their backs. Exactly like my co-workers.
It's hardly "behind their back". CNA and pretty much any other politically active union does everything they (we) possibly can to inform the members about their political activities and program. Anyone who takes even a cursory look at the website, anyone that the union has an email address for certainly gets informed about all of that - unless they are just really determined to avoid being informed. Seems more likely to me that the results of the poll - too small a sample to really mean anything much, in reality - lean to the fact that most members do approve of the union's political activities. It would be pretty silly of a union to support politicians or political programs that actively aim to hurt their members, which is presumably what you would like them to do.
Yes, please expand on that profound thought. There are more than a few RNs that are unhappy with the politics of their unions. Some of us are politically conservative. The union I am forced to belong to goes against everything I believe in. As far as the Beck objector status, I've explored that. Please don't try to tell me that the SEIU only spends 5% of my 75.00/month dues on political activities. There are quite a few RNs in my facility that feel the same way. We would dearly love to show the SEIU the door, but the current rules of engagement make that a bit difficult.