AFL-CIO Endorsement 'Slap in the Face,' Says Legal Defense Group

By Melanie Arter | July 7, 2008 | 8:21pm EDT

( - A national employee rights advocacy organization Thursday called the AFL-CIO's endorsement of Kerry "a slap in the face to dissenting employees."

"The AFL-CIO endorsement is a slap in the face to more than 11 million American workers forced to pay over $8 billion a year in compulsory union dues just to keep their jobs," said Stefan Gleason, vice president of National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation.

"The misuse of over $800 million dollars in mostly forced union dues by union officials to elect their handpicked candidates in this election cycle represents the most egregious corruption of the American political system today," Gleason said.

The foundation said it would provide free legal assistance to employees seeking to reclaim the portion of their compulsory union dues spent by union officials on electoral politics and other activities unrelated to collective bargaining.

"As Thomas Jefferson said, 'To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves is both sinful and tyrannical,'" said Gleason.

"Although nearly 40% of union members consistently vote against Big Labor candidates, the AFL-CIO brass are thumbing their noses at these rank-and-file workers. In fact, polls have shown that more than 60% of AFL-CIO members do not support any use of dues on electioneering," he added.

"While Big Labor may not be able to deliver the actual votes of rank-and-file workers to their candidates of choice, union officials will pump millions of forced-dues dollars into boiler room phone banks, hand over paid union staff to campaigns, orchestrate literature drops, and offer countless other in-kind contributions to campaigns.

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