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The AFL-CIO and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) recently announced that they will spend a combined $88 million during this year’s election cycle. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) plans to spend about $50 million.

Organized labor’s enormous war chests are largely derived from member dues—money that is deducted from workers’ paychecks and sent directly to the “representing” union. While some states have enacted paycheck protection laws that allow a worker to decide whether or not his dues are used for political purposes, a majority of states give workers no choice in how their dues are spent.

The following figures illustrate labor’s donations during this year’s election cycle:

Nine out of the top ten PACs that contributed to Democratic candidates are run by labor unions

Labor Union Political Action Committee Amount Contributed
Intl Brotherhood of Electrical Workers $2,323,373   
Operating Engineers Union $1,879,300
American Fedn of St/Cnty/Munic Employees  $1,749,000  
Teamsters Union  $1,588,910 
Laborers Union $1,582,500      
Machinists/Aerospace Workers Union $1,527,500  
American Federation of Teachers $1,482,250  
Plumbers/Pipefitters Union $1,389,975   
International Assn of Fire Fighters $1,355,500    

 Four out of the top five organizations giving money to all 527s are labor unions

Organization Recipient
Service Employees International Union $10,764,321  
United Food & Commercial Workers Union  $3,562,014   
American Fedn of St/Cnty/Munic Employees   $2,382,873
Operating Engineers Union $2,196,245