UAW Members Upset Dues Increased, But Not Why You Think

The United Auto Workers sold its members on a dues increase under the guise that additional money was needed to replenish its strike fund after the fund loaned money to pay for the union’s operating expenses. After all, the UAW needs a fat strike fund heading into labor negotiations with the Big Three in 2015. However, once the members approved the increase they learned that more than half of the additional $45 million will be put back into the unions’ general fund, not strike fund.

According to, “With approving the dues increase, which was “Article 16” of the [annual UAW] convention, members also voted to transferring $85 million from the ‘Emergency Operations Fund’ to a newly created VEBA trust; transferring $25 million of the Strike Fund to the ‘International Union General Fund’ in June; allowing leaders to use up to $60 million from the Strike Fund over the next four years to support major organizing drives or other initiatives intended to increase UAW membership; and other similar financial measures related to dues.”

Armed with this information, many UAW members are calling for a rescission of their approval for the dues increase. If members can’t trust their own union, how are companies supposed to trust unions?