Forced Union Dues Fuel Billion Dollar Political Machine


(click here to download Labor Union Political Spending Fact Sheet)

(Springfield, Va.) – The National Institute for Labor Relations Research (NILRR) has released a new analysis conservatively estimating that Big Labor spent nearly $1.7 billion on politics and lobbying in 2013 and 2014.  The NILRR analysis relies on reporting forms filed by union officials themselves with federal and state government agencies.

Poor-mouthing union officials and supposedly nonpartisan monitors of political spending like the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) have for years fostered the totally false impression that Big Labor PAC and 527 group expenditures represent all the electioneering unions do.

But the LM-2 forms that all private-sector unions (and government-sector unions that wield bargaining power over some private-sector employees) with annual revenues exceeding $250,000 government-sector unions are required to file with the Labor Department, along with other publicly available resources, show they actually control by far the most massive political machine in America.

A review conducted for the Institute of all LM-2 forms filed for 2013 and 2014 shows that unions filing such forms spent a total of $1.01 billion on “political activities and lobbying” over that two-year period.  The Institute analysis also added up political spending by government unions (with no private-sector membership) appearing in state campaign finance reports and found they dumped a total of roughly $564 million into electioneering in 2013-2014.   Union PAC and “Section 527 group” political expenditures not reported elsewhere add nearly another $92 million.

Forced union dues-fueled spending pays for phone banks, get-out-the-vote drives, propaganda mailings, and other so-called “in-kind” support for union boss-favored candidates.