News Story

Union Says Photo IDs not Necessary to Vote — Unless You Vote to Leave Union

UAW fights photo IDs for voting; demands photo ID to opt out of union

Editor's Note: This article has been corrected. The original story had a typo, incorrectly listing UAW Local 6000, the union that represents state employees, instead of UAW Local 600, which represents truck drivers and other private sector workers.

In recent arguments against states requiring voters to show a photo ID, the United Auto Workers has compared concerns about voter fraud to belief in the fictional Loch Ness monster and Yeti.

The parent union wrote on its Facebook page that requiring a photo ID for voting is the goal of the “billionaire funded” American Legislative Exchange Council, and is intended to create obstacles for voters who might support a more “progressive” agenda.

When its own members, however, want to exercise their freedoms under the new right-to-work law in Michigan to opt out of paying union dues as a condition of employment, UAW 600 says they must show a photo ID.

According to the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation (NRTWF), a Michigan truck driver has filed a federal labor law complaint against the union, alleging that the photo ID requirement is a form of intimidation and coercion.

With the assistance of the NRTWLDF, Kathileen Sulkowski filed the complaint Oct. 8 at the National Labor Relations Board’s regional office in Detroit. NRTWLDF says a UAW 600 official sent Sulkowski a letter denying her request to opt out of the union on Sept. 18, and demanding that she must show up in person and provide photo ID to opt out.

“Across the state, union officials are pulling out all the stops to keep workers from exercising their rights under Michigan’s right-to-work law," said Mark Mix, president of NTRTWLDF in a press release. "UAW union officials' latest tactic to show up in person and furnish photo identification is designed to dissuade or intimidate workers from exercising their rights to refrain from membership. On the UAW's website, the union hierarchy opposes what it calls 'outrageous voter ID laws' but apparently union officials have no problem requiring ID for workers who want to resign and cut off union dues, including dues money spent to promote the union boss position on voter ID legislation.”

The UAW Local 600 union did not return a request for comment.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.