Kevin I think I understand what you want from your posts, which is to not join a union or pay dues or gain anything from a contract. In the US anyone who works at a facility in a job covered by a contract is covered by that contract weather or not they personally join the union. They get all the pay raises and will be afforded other protections of the union should they need them. Unions by law cannot use dues for political lobbying, that is seperately raised money. There are states in US that are called 'right to work states' if you live in those states and you work in a facility with a contract you are still covered by the contract even if you don't join the union, but in these states if you don't join the union you do not pay dues. Wages , benifits and retirment benifits tend to be lower in these states. Visit some of these states on the state specific forums and check them out, some examples are Missisippi, North and South Carolina. I personally think that anyone getting the benifits of the contract should pay dues. Your wife can either find a job in a non-union facility or yes she will pay dues as California is not a 'right to work' state.