Involuntary Servitude

by Mark A. Monoscalco

The following article appears in the 5/10/12 issue of the Washington Times:

Labor bosses demand their dues

This article describes some of the battles workers are fighting to free themselves from the corruption of organized labor.  Some of the highlights of this article are:


Labor bosses are fighting to keep people in unions against their will, forcibly collecting dues from unwilling members and using those dues to line their own pockets. In effect, labor leaders have imposed their own system of “involuntary servitude” on recalcitrant union members. In California, for example, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) bosses in Fresno are engaged in a war to keep disgruntled members from defecting. For their part, Fresno correctional officers created another union and petitioned for a union election. Fresno Department of Social Services workers also have petitioned for a decertification vote from SEIU. Kandy Gonzalez, head of the new Fresno County Employees Association, compared cutting ties with SEIU to a “bad divorce.” But SEIU thus far has refused to sign the divorce papers, to Ms. Gonzalez’s dismay. “They’re going to invest whatever money they’re going to invest to keep us in this marriage,” she says. “And what’s sad is they’re probably going to be using our money to fight us. They’ll be using our dues to fight us.”

Kandy Gonzalez is correct, the union will use dues collected from the members to pay for legal action against those same members.


Indeed, the Fresno correctional officers’ decertification election, which had been scheduled for April, will be delayed for months because of an SEIU complaint with the Civil Service Commission. In the meantime, the workers literally are working for the union bosses against their will.
Even more outrageous, unions are maintaining that free-labor policies are the real perpetrators of modern forced servitude. In Indiana, for example, International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) union bosses have filed a lawsuit charging that the state’s new “right to work” law forces union members into “involuntary servitude.” IUOE claims the law forces unions to negotiate for nonunion (non-dues-paying) workers, violating the 13th and 14th amendments to the Constitution. But this is merely union chutzpah at its most egregious – IUOE is not obligated to negotiate for exclusive representation.

The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution:

Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.


Union membership should always be voluntary.  Unions are using all legal means to fight their own members to prevent them from leaving.  At the same time unions are filing a lawsuit claiming that giving people the right to choose union membership is a form of slavery.

Mark A. Monoscalco is a member of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. His personal blog, from which this is re-posted, can be found at //defendingcivilsociety.blogspot.com/

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