About That Unequal Distribution of Wealth Thing

When Occupy Wall Street was protesting, one of its claims was that the ‘fat cats’ on Wall Street were getting richer while everyone else was getting poorer. They claimed to be fighting for a more equitable distribution of wealth. Of course, corporations have always been charged with overpaying their executives while underpaying those in the lower levels of the work force. However, in these protests, one area of ‘unequal distribution of wealth’ has been overlooked.

Today’s Washington Examiner posted an article about the increases in the pay for union leaders that is occurring as union membership decreases.

The article reports:

The only thing keeping Big Labor from becoming an incidental factor in the American workplace is that government employees are five times more likely to be unionized than those in the private sector.

The article further states:

A total of 428 private sector union leaders were paid at least $250,000 annually, and the top 100 of those made more than $350,000, according to a study of Department of Labor data by Media Trackers, a conservative, nonprofit investigative watchdog group. The highest-paid union leaders work for organized professional athletes, with G. William Hunter, executive director of the National Basketball Players Association, who received $3.2 million. The only government employee union leader in the top 10 is Gerald McEntee, international president of the Association of Federal, State, County and Municipal Employees, whose $1.2 million compensation put him fourth on the list.

I have no problem with people being compensated for what they do, but if you are going to complain about what corporate executives earn, you need to also look at what union leaders are paid.

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What The Supreme Court Said Yesterday

Investors.com posted an article yesterday explaining the Supreme Court decision regarding the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). I will admit that when I first heard the ruling I did not understand exactly what was involved. I am grateful to Investors.com for their clear concise explanation.

The article explains:

In ruling that workers who choose not to be union members must be able to object immediately to unexpected fee increases or similar levies required of all employees in closed shops, the high court touched a nerve in the conflict between Big Labor and the right-to-work movement.

…The union’s gall in this specific case in underlined by the fact that it was taking money from nonmembers to defeat, in 2005, California’s Proposition 75, which would have prohibited the SEIU from using dues or fees for political contributions without employees’ written consent.

“Thus, the effect of the SEIU’s procedure was to force many nonmembers to subsidize a political effort designed to restrict their own rights,” Justice Samuel Alito noted.

There has been a lot of complaining from the left side of the political spectrum about the Citizen’s United ruling of the Supreme Court. That ruling prohibited the government from restricting spending either by corporations or unions. The left objected to the fact that corporations were now able to get into the election funding game. At least corporations are spending their own profits and are answerable to their stockholders. The use of union dues to fund political campaigns without the consent of those paying the dues is questionable at best. At least now non-union members have some control over the money they are asked to pay the unions.

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