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Chair Good Exposes Union Antisemitism and Big Labor Abuses

WASHINGTON – Today, Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee Chairman Bob Good (R-VA) delivered the following statement, as prepared for delivery, at a hearing titled "Confronting Union Antisemitism: Protecting Workers from Big Labor Abuses": 

"Today’s hearing will examine the ways in which unions put politics over people through the lens of rampant union antisemitism.  

"Unfortunately, the politicization of unions is not new. The National Institute for Labor Relations Research estimates that unions spent about $25 billion in political donations during the 2022 election cycle, or far more than the roughly $2 billion they report as political activities. 

"In the 2020 presidential campaign, President Biden received $27.5 million in direct donations from labor organizations, while President Trump received less than $360,000. While the working class seem to be moving in favor of the GOP in the upcoming election cycle, it’s clear that union bosses sold out to the Left long ago. 

"Additionally, the response by union leaders to the October 7 Hamas terrorist attacks on Israel have exposed yet another way unions are beholden to the radical Left instead of the workers they claim to represent. Rather than focus on their stated purpose of negotiating better workplace conditions for workers, unions choose to spend time and money advancing their divisive and anti-American political agenda. 

"Take, for example, the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys (ALAA). The ALAA represents more than 2,700 public interest lawyers in the New York Metro Area, and on December 19, 2023, it passed a highly controversial resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.  

"The resolution’s inflammatory rhetoric—such as calling Israel an apartheid state—alienated many members and caused nearly 35 percent of the membership to vote against it. The New York Post has further exposed more details of offensive and harmful antisemitism that is rampant throughout ALAA communications. 

"Some of the union members have sued the union, but shockingly, the union members who filed the lawsuit were charged with 'Conduct Unbecoming of a Union Member' under the UAW Constitution and are now facing trial with a penalty of expulsion from the union.  

"In other words, these union members shelling out roughly $120 a month to be part of the union will now be put on trial by the same organization intended to protect and represent them, simply for standing up for what they believe.  

"One of the plaintiffs argued, 'I shouldn’t have to financially support an organization that adopts antisemitic resolutions, sides with terrorist organizations, and advocates for the destruction of Israel in order to be a public defender in New York.'

"I couldn’t agree more. Union members have rights under the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act and the Supreme Court’s Beck decision to speak out against their unions and to cease paying dues for political activities they disagree with.  

"Unfortunately, unions have an incentive to keep their members ignorant of their rights and often make little effort to inform them of these rights. And, as Jewish workers have recently experienced, current federal labor law and Supreme Court precedent fail to adequately protect individual employees’ right to refrain from union activity. 

"The ALAA, along with other organizations like the MIT Graduate Student Union, demonstrates how unions neglect their members to pursue Left-wing activism at all costs. 

"Today we are providing a platform for those who are not truly represented by the unions they pay dues to. We will discuss how law protects their political and religious convictions, and how further protections could be provided.  

"Perhaps not everyone here and on the panel agrees on the appropriate role of unions in society, but I hope we can all agree that—if anything—they should advocate on behalf of the workplace interests of workers rather than pursuing a radical political agenda that alienates their members."


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