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|
|Machinists/Aerospace Workers Union||$1,527,500|
|American Federation of Teachers||$1,482,250|
|International Assn of Fire Fighters||$1,355,500|
Four out of the top five organizations giving money to all 527s are labor unions
|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|