Candidate support voluntary, not from dues

A guest column by Rick Moyle of the Hawkeye Labor Council, (“Right to work unfair to unions,” Feb. 1), and a letter to the editor by Palmer Holden (“Unions trample on free speech,” Feb. 7) address an issue that needs clarification.

Union members — officers or members — certainly have the right of independent free speech to endorse any candidate of their choosing. The union cannot endorse candidates without a majority vote of union members.

Union dues do not support candidates. Union members get the opportunity — on a voluntary basis — to contribute to union political action committees, with the money separate from the dues. This PAC contribution is voluntary, as are other contributions, such as contributions to the United Way.

Membership in the union does not direct dues to candidates.

Niles Ross

Cedar Rapids


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