Employee Freedom Week Seeks to Educate Nevada Workers

Kevin Dietrich

Fewer than one in three Nevadans are registered as Democrats, but you wouldn’t know that from campaign contributions made by unions and labor groups during the 2022 election cycle.

Of the more than $1.4 million given by unions and labor groups during last year’s election cycle, nearly 96 percent went to Democrat candidates, according to the Nevada Independent. That’s up from 94 percent in 2020.

As a result, union members who identify as Republican, Independent or any party but Democrat have to watch as a portion of their dues are used to subvert their interests.

Fortunately, public- and private-sector union members have an option rather than seeing their hard-earned dollars go to push the political agendas of union presidents.

Aug. 13-19 marks National Employee Freedom Week, a nationwide effort which seeks to share alternatives to union membership and provide resources needed to help individuals discover the choice that works best for them.

National Employee Freedom Week, started by Nevada Policy more than a decade ago, is a partnership of national, state and local organizations dedicated to the policy concept of employee freedom.

It would appear many Nevada workers are taking a look at how unions are using their dollars and saying ‘no, thanks.’

Union membership in both Nevada and the nation has continued to decline. In 2022, union membership in Nevada was down more than 27 percent from 2019, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Last year, Nevada had 146,000 union members in its workforce. That’s down from 153,000 in 2021 and more than 200,000 four years ago.

Nationwide, about 10 percent of the workforce is made up of union workers, down by 50 percent from 1983, when the Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking membership.

Unions are monopoly institutions that raise wages through collective bargaining, not productivity improvements, according to Richard Epstein of the Hoover Institution.

“The ensuing higher labor costs, higher costs of negotiating collective bargaining agreements and higher labor market uncertainty all undercut the gains to union workers just as they magnify losses to nonunion employers, as well as to the shareholders, suppliers and customers of these unionized firms,” Epstein wrote, adding that, “ … gains for union workers come at the expense of everyone else.”

Kevin Dietrich

Kevin Dietrich

Kevin Dietrich joined Nevada Policy in 2022.

He has more than 20 years of experience in communications, including serving as the director of communications and marketing for the South Carolina Bankers Association, working as a speechwriter for South Carolina governor Mark Sanford and assisting with internal communications for CVS Caremark.

Kevin graduated from the University of Maine with a degree in Journalism and a minor in History. A fifth-generation Californian, he spent a decade as a journalist, working for newspapers in Florida, New York, New Hampshire and South Carolina.