Do you shop at Foodland, Save-A-Lot, Kroger, Walmart or some other chain?

What health club do you belong to? Planet Fitness? Anytime Fitness? The YMCA?

What church do you go to? Is it Methodist, Baptist, Catholic, Pentecostal or some other denomination or faith?

Ask different West Virginians these questions and you'll get different answers. Some people may not shop at any of the stores named above, some may not belong to a health club, and some may not go to church. After all, the choice is theirs and no one can make them patronize a particular store, gym, or church.

Kroger may be a nice grocery store, it may be your favorite and the one you shop at exclusively, but can you imagine being required by law to be a Kroger customer? That would be outrageous.

The same goes for gyms and churches. If someone were to suggest that you must belong to Planet Fitness or you must go to church at Cross Lanes United Methodist, you'd be indignant and maybe think they'd lost their minds.

We live in the land of the free, don't we? Freedom of association is one of our freedoms, is it not?

Why is it, then, that compulsory union membership seems okay to so many people, or the compulsory payment of union dues and fees by nonmembers?

Until West Virginia became the 26th right-to-work state in the nation earlier this year, many of our fellow citizens had no choice in this particular matter. They still don't, what with the “Workplace Freedom Act” being challenged in court by union representatives and Kanawha Circuit Judge Jennifer Bailey issuing a preliminary injunction blocking its enforcement.

A new survey from the Nevada Policy Research Institute under the National Employee Freedom Week campaign indicates that nearly a third of union workers nationwide would opt out if they could stop paying dues and not lose their jobs.

How is this not outrageous?

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