Building a V-CAP Program



The UAW’s V-CAP checkoff is a voluntary program that allows each member to make a modest contribution each month to help the union support candidates who care about American workers and their jobs. This voluntary contribution is usually made through an automatic payroll deduction, called V-CAP Checkoff. The V-CAP Checkoff program has been, and continues to be, a very successful part of raising voluntary dollars for the union’s political purposes.


By law, union dues can’t be used to support any federal candidate and, in an ever-increasing number of states, any candidate for public office. Our only means of monetary support for many labor-endorsed candidates is voluntary political contributions, which are put into the International Union’s political action fund, UAW V-CAP.


“V” means voluntary

Always remember that both checkoff authorization and the amount to be deducted are purely voluntary. No UAW member can or should be compelled to contribute to the UAW V-CAP fund. A member can cancel his or her authorization by written request at any time. The keys to increasing participation in V-CAP and our other political action efforts are political education and communication, not high-pressure tactics. These are proven methods that have been very successful in many local unions. They can be successful in your local if used properly and adapted specifically to your workplace. Note: UAW V-CAP is an independent political action committee created by the UAW. This committee does not ask for or accept authorization from any candidate, and no candidate is responsible for its activities. UAW V-CAP uses the money it receives to make political contributions and expenditures in connection with federal, state and local elections. Contributions to UAW V-CAP are purely voluntary, and are made without fear of reprisal. All UAW members may be eligible for V-CAP raffle drawings, regardless of whether they make a contribution to UAW V-CAP. Money contributed to UAW V-CAP constitutes a voluntary contribution to a joint fundraising effort by the UAW and AFL-CIO.



The PA AFL-CIO has created a new website, to expose the worst legislators in Pennsylvania’s General Assembly and their attacks on working families and the middle-class.  There is little hope that these particular individuals will ever vote for or support working families.  They attack workers with a vengeance while carrying the water bucket for their corporate and anti-union backers. Be sure to visit the website and please take the action requested to defeat these one-sided and harmful attacks on working men and women.


Standing Together for Workers' Rights

Butler County Labor Council delegates distributed leaflets at PA State Wine and Spirit Shoppes throughout Butler County to protest the privatization of our state liquor stores.

UAW Western PA CAP Council delegates attend the 22nd Annual Greater Westmoreland Labor Council "Labor Recognition" dinner on Sunday, May 17, 2009

Published: June 16. 2011 12:01AM


Guest voice: Congressman Mike Kelly should change course


By STEPHEN HERZENBERG Contributing writer

When residents in the Third District of Northwestern Pennsylvania elected Mike Kelly to Congress in November, they gave him one assignment: Get our economy back on track.
Now that Congressman Kelly has been in Washington, D.C. for a few months, we can see what he’s actually doing.
One of the congressman’s most important actions was his vote for the Ryan budget, named after U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin. This budget passed the U.S. House of Representatives on a party-line vote in April, with Mr. Kelly and all Pennsylvania House Republicans supporting it.
The Ryan budget proposal has been marketed politically as a serious effort to tackle the nation’s long-term debt. Let’s see what the bill actually does.
It makes permanent the Bush tax cuts for those earning over a quarter-million dollars. It continues a cut in inheritance taxes that only benefits the wealthiest one out of every 400 Americans. The Ryan plan also lowers the top tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent, which only helps Pennsylvania families earning over $175,000 a year.
The tax cuts for the rich in the Ryan bill reduce revenue by more than $2 trillion over the next decade. That is a strange starting point for a plan to reduce the U.S. debt.
It also means the Ryan plan must make deeper cuts in spending to lower future deficits.
Who gets hurt and who benefits from the cuts in spending in the Ryan bill? The Ryan bill takes a hatchet to health care — for seniors, for individuals not covered through a job, and for families in need.
Instead of getting health care through Medicare, seniors would receive a voucher. According to the Congressional Budget Office, seniors would end up having to pay twice what they now pay out-of-pocket. While seniors get less health care, but pay more, insurance companies can tap a big new market.
For 34 million uninsured Americans not old enough to receive Medicare, the Ryan bill repeals programs that will help them afford insurance for the first time. The bill also slashes Medicaid funding for Pennsylvania, shifting costs onto the state as well as the low-income children, people with severe disabilities, and senior citizens who rely on Medicaid for their health and long-term care.
Beyond health care, the Ryan bill cuts Pell grants that send students to college, food stamps for families on the front-line of the recession, and workforce training for unemployed workers.
While Ryan’s tax cuts don’t help Congressman Kelly’s constituents, the spending cuts would hurt them. That’s because the district has high unemployment, modest incomes and an aging population.
Another problem: by reducing government spending a lot next year, the Ryan bill would weaken the already faltering economic recovery. Instead of fulfilling a promise to create more jobs, this plan will produce fewer jobs.
Facing grass-roots opposition, House Republicans in Washington have now retreated temporarily from the Medicare cuts explaining that “the Senate won’t pass them.”
Now House Republicans want a cap in overall federal spending. But what does a cap mean if you pass all the tax cuts Ryan and Kelly favor? Deep cuts in Medicare that require the same kind of radical proposals to end Medicare as we know it.
If you sent Mr. Kelly to Washington, D.C., to lower taxes for the wealthy, cut health care and education for the middle class and slow down the economy, then you’re getting your wish.
But if you sent him to Washington to create jobs and help the middle class, you need to tell him to change course.
A new direction must reduce the deficit and put our nation back on a responsible fiscal path, but only when unemployment drops to 5 percent and the economy is strong enough to absorb reduced government spending.
A balanced approach must also include shared sacrifice, with higher, not lower, taxes on the rich.

STEPHEN HERZENBERG, an economist, is executive director of the Keystone Research Center in Harrisburg.