Nationwide, only 7% of private companies are unionized. However 41% of government employees are unionized. Together they collect $14 billion annually in dues. The government union officials are very well paid, with individual compensation ranging up to $300,000 per person in annual salaries. One of the major government employee unions is the National Education Association, which exerts tremendous influence on education policies and spending.
Government union leaders enjoy tremendous political influence. The former head of the SEIU (Service Employees International Union), Andy Stern, for example, visited the Obama White House at least 22 times. AFL-CIO leader Richard Trumka bragged that he visited the White House two or three times a week, and that he spoke to White House staff every day of the week, including weekends. Perhaps that isn't surprising, considering that unions spent more than $300 million to $400 million in each presidential election to help elect a Democratic president.
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