(Ypsilanti, Mi., 12/5/13) -Terry Bowman, president and founder of Union Conservatives, a non-profit organization with members in 35 states, today blasted UAW officials for considering an outrageous 25% dues increase on their already burdened membership. “This blatant notion by UAW officials to outsource their failed policies onto the backs of hard-working members will not go unanswered,” vowed Bowman, a 17-year UAW member who works for Ford Motor Co. “If UAW executives go down this ruinous path, we will put forth a call to action to the membership to publicly demand the UAW opens its books to a 3rd party auditor. We will find out exactly what union officials are spending our money on, and why they have not instead looked at deep cuts in expenses.”….
Bowman, who in 2012 testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in Washington, D.C. in a hearing entitled, “The Right to Choose: Protecting Workers from Forced Political Contributions”, is concerned that the UAW may be padding their coffers in anticipation for spending large amounts on the 2014 political season. “As union workers, we have seen the expensive evidence of failed UAW political actions in 2012 such as the disastrous fight to pass proposal 2, and the bizarre and image-damaging attempt to create an ‘Occupy’ type grassroots movement called the ‘99% spring’. We remind UAW executives that up to 40% of their membership base disagrees with their political agenda, and we will remind those workers of their ‘Beck’ rights and the upcoming opportunity for Michigan workers to exercise their protections under the new Right to Work law.”
As the nation’s 24th Right to Work state, UAW members in Michigan can opt-out of the union beginning when their contracts expire; for auto workers that is not until September, 2015. “Beck” rights relate to a 1988 Supreme Court case entitled: The Communication Workers of America v. Beck. The Supreme Court ruled that workers should not have to pay for unwanted union political activity, and gave workers an avenue that requires first resigning their union membership, and then only paying an ‘agency’ fee which is supposed to be devoid of any political spending.
Bowman also vows to educate workers in Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi of the proposed increase in union dues. “For workers in the southern states, this additional information will give them extra ammunition to fight back against continued attempts by union organizers to ignore worker’s desires to remain non-union.”
Describing exact actions, Bowman said that if there is any dues increase, Union Conservatives would:
- Demand a detailed list of cost-cutting measures taken by union officials.
- Demand a detailed third-party auditing of all spending
- Demand a detailed third-party auditing of the union’s strike fund
- Demand a complete auditing of costs associated with the Black Lake Facility in Northern Michigan; including an appraisal of the property for sale.
- Demand a complete auditing of costs associated with political activity, including the union’s ‘Vote Center’ located in Detroit, and the cost of publication and disbursement of the hyper-political ‘Solidarity’ magazine.
- A listing of all International UAW executives and employees pay increases over the last 10 years.
- Demand full detailed accounting of union region offices and locals.
Union Conservatives, Inc., is a 501(c)4 non-profit organization formed in 2010. Donations are not tax-deductible for income tax purposes.