Regarding Dennis Pierces comment (Letters, Herald, Feb. 27) 92 percent of union dues go to Democratic candidates. He is entitled to his own opinion, not his own facts.
It is illegal for any money collected by unions as dues to be used for any political purpose. Unions have political action committees for this purpose, and all contributions are voluntary.
It is also illegal for anyone to attempt to pressure a union member to contribute to their PAC. This is to protect members who may not share the overall political view of his or her union.
The PAC of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters union I retired from is DRIVE, for Democrat, Republican, Independent Voter Education.
My first experience with DRIVE was more than 30 years ago when I received a call. The person identified himself and said that in going through the membership roll they showed I had not registered to vote since moving to Colorado 18 months earlier.
I had been registered as independent in another state. He said they could not urge me to register with a particular party but did want me to be aware that I could not vote in primaries if independent. Their goal was simply to get people to register.
All members do receive political information and opinion from their union, and unions do tend to endorse Democrats, primarily because Republicans are typically anti-labor, but every cent (including postage) is from voluntary contributions, not from dues.
My contribution to DRIVE was $5 per week and at any time I could have stopped or changed that amount. My union dues were equal to two hours of pay per month.
Mike Holmes, Durango