Understanding the agency feed and union dues in response to last week’s piece

Dear editor,

I write with concern about a serious misrepresentation that appeared in the column of Joseph Brown in your latest is-sue (“Leftist fallacies,” April 13, 2016).

Brown writes that, “unions have free reign to . . . steal money from their workers in non right-to-work states and donate it, year after year, to Democrats.”

This is completely untrue. Unions have no such “reign.” Any article on union finances should point out the difference between an agency fee and union dues.

Agency fees, collected from non-members, can only be used for expenses related to general union business, such as bargaining, contract administration, etc.

These services are for everyone, not just members. Some major unions in the United States donate money to candidates for elected office.

But when they do so, they utilize only the funds of full members who have chosen to align themselves with the philosophical and political positions of the unions. There is no theft involved.

Most of the political funds raised by unions, however, come from so-called Committee on Public Education funds, to which individual members contribute as they wish on a purely personal basis.

We expect Mr. Brown to correct this error in his next column.

Thank you.


Dr. Felicia Kornbluh,

President, United Academics, and Associate Professor, History and GSWS, for the Executive Council, United Academics