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Older photo of men holding signs on strike.
Labor Unions
  1. U.S. Labor Unions in the 1940s
  2. U.S. Unions in the Cold War
  3. Public worker unions in the United States
  4. Decline in Strike Activity in the US
  5. Union Membership Across the United States
  6. Right-to-Work Laws
  7. Types of Unions in the United States
  8. The AFL-CIO
  9. Labor Contracts in the United States
  10. Strikes in the United States
  11. What Happens During a Strike
  12. Long Strikes and Violence
  13. The 1964 Civil Rights Act
  14. Union Campaign Contributions and Political Influence
  15. Unions and Politics
  16. U.S. Unions in the 90s and Today
  17. Important U.S. Labor Leaders: George Meany
  18. Important U.S. Labor Leaders: John L. Lewis
  19. Important U.S. Labor Leaders: Walter Reuther
  20. Important U.S. Labor Leaders: A. Philip Randolph
  21. Important U.S. Labor Leaders: Jimmy Hoffa
  22. Important U.S. Labor Leaders: Caesar Chavez
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Union workers hold signs supporting politician
In September 2003, these union members supported Democrat Dick Gephardt for President.
Photo Courtesy of Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action.
Union Campaign Contributions and Political Influence
Traditionally, labor unions give far more in campaign donations to Democrats than to Republicans. But campaign spending laws limit how much businesses, labor unions, and special interest groups can contribute to political campaigns. Today, labor unions contribute money and other aid to support political candidates through PACs—political action committees. Special-interest groups create political action committees to raise money to support political candidates they like. PACs support candidates in national, state, and local elections. In the 2002 elections, of the ten PACs that raised the most money for political candidates in the United States, six were formed by labor unions. The role PACs play in elections is sometimes controversial because PACs–and not a political party or candidate–decide how to spend the money they raise to support their favorite candidates. This often leads to PACs creating very negative campaign attacks on the opponent of the candidate they back. This allows the candidate they support to focus on a more positive message. Click on CHARTS below for additional information about union contributions to candidates.
Special Terms: Democrats  |  Republicans  |  PACs

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