The American Federation of Labor & Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) has a long-standing history of lobbying for gun control. Many members have expressed concern that the group uses union dues to advance ideological political beliefs, as opposed to strictly representing the collective bargaining interests of members. Here is a breakdown of some significant events from the NRA-ILA:
1971: The Executive Council of the AFL-CIO adopted a resolution stating, “the AFL-CIO strongly urges Congress to enact strong handgun control legislation.”
1976: The AFL-CIO announced it`s support for legislation which would ban “weapons such as the so-called `Saturday Night Special` from the public domain.”
1987: The AFL-CIO`s Executive Council issued a resolution in support of a national seven-day waiting period on the purchase of all handguns.
1989: The AFL-CIO came out strongly in support of the Brady Bill and its national waiting period on the purchase of handguns by law-abiding gun owners. AFL-CIO leadership also resolved to support U.S. Sen. Dennis DeConcini`s S.747, a bill to ban the importation, domestic manufacture and sale of certain semi-automatic firearms.
1994: Most recently, the AFL-CIO`s leadership supported the Clinton Crime Bill and its ban on certain semi-automatic rifles, pistols and shotguns and large-capacity magazines.
What many union members do not know is that there are legal limits to what unions can do with member dues and agency fees. Check out Communications Workers of America v. Beck, 487 U.S. 735 (1988). The case concerned a union member that protested the use of his union dues going to a political cause. Unions have a duty of fair representation that requires that collective bargaining agreements do not discriminate against individual workers. The idea that every member (there are 12.2 million according to the AFL-CIO website) of the AFL-CIO actively wants their money going toward the political cause of gun control is absurd. If you are an AFL-CIO member, do you want your union dues going to lobby for gun control?