This article originally appeared on watchdog.org.
When labor unions insist right-to-work laws are ‚Äúwrong,‚ÄĚ what they really mean is right-to-work laws are wrong for union bosses.
Union bosses¬†have a financial¬†interest in fighting right-to-work. On the books in 24 states and being considered in New Mexico, Missouri, Wisconsin and elsewhere, right-to-work laws allow workers to choose whether to pay unions.
Right-to-work laws do nothing to prevent workers from forming, joining, or bargaining through a union, so union officials are stuck fabricating¬†reasons Americans¬†should¬†be forced to pay unions for their own good.
In a¬†particularly silly¬†attempt to defend¬†forced unionism, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees recently promoted¬†a graphic blaming¬†right-to-work for¬†workplace deaths.
Unlike the infographic AFSCME pushed to supporters earlier this month, which did not cite the 2002 AFL-CIO news release its ‚Äúfacts‚ÄĚ came¬†from, this¬†graphic is based on the latest available data from¬†the U.S. Department of Labor.
Hundreds of labor union officers and employees¬†in Washington, D.C., are paid with money taken from workers who must contribute to unions¬†as a condition of employment. Unions can take mandatory fees from private-sector workers in 26 states, and¬†from government workers in 23 states.
AFSCME President Lee Saunders, paid a total of $350,058 in 2013, was one of 17 AFSCME headquarters officers and employees who received¬†more than $200,000 from the government union. AFSCME took forced dues from¬†130,920 nonmembers¬†in 2013, based on its annual report to the Department of Labor.
American Federation of Teachers, the country‚Äôs second-largest teachers union, paid its president, Randi Weingarten, a total of $557,875 in 2014.¬†Weingarten‚Äôs gross salary alone was $375,174, and she was one of 19 AFT officers and employees paid more than $200,000.
Lily Eskelsen Garcia, president of the National Education Association, was paid $345,728 as the union‚Äôs vice president in 2014. Union¬†officers and employees¬†in NEA‚Äôs¬†Washington, D.C., headquarters were paid an average of $127,620 last year.
Outgoing NEA president Dennis Van Roekel was paid $541,632 with money taken from teachers and other school staff. Van Roekel and Eskelsen Garcia were among 45 NEA headquarters officers and employees paid more than $200,000 while¬†NEA took forced dues from¬†90,255 nonmembers.
Although NEA, AFSCME and AFT ‚ÄĒ¬†all public-sector labor unions ‚ÄĒ¬†are¬†three of America‚Äôs largest¬†unions,¬†other labor bosses are paid even more. Terry O‚ÄôSullivan, president of Laborers International Union of North America, was paid $663,981 and Transportation Communications Union President Bob¬†Scardelletti was paid¬†$641,215 in 2013.
Contrary to agitated¬†union claims that¬†right-to-work is ‚Äúwrong,‚ÄĚ backed by union-funded research and colorful graphics from front groups like Jobs With Justice and We Are Ohio, unions are big businesses looking out for their own interests.
NEA headquarters took¬†$362 million from educators¬†last year, while AFT headquarters took $169 million. AFSCME headquarters collected $179 million from government workers in 2013.