HolyCoast: Union Membership in Wisconsin Drops Dramatically Thanks to Gov. Walker's Reforms

Friday, June 01, 2012

Union Membership in Wisconsin Drops Dramatically Thanks to Gov. Walker's Reforms

And it's not because union members have been laid off, it's because if they're not forced to join by the government most of them won't opt to pay the dues.  From Morning Jolt:
Here's What Happens When Government Stops Collecting Dues for Unions


Wow. Just . . . wow.

Wisconsin membership in the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees-the state's second-largest public-sector union after the National Education Association, which represents teachers-fell to 28,745 in February from 62,818 in March 2011, according to a person who has viewed Afscme's figures. A spokesman for Afscme declined to comment.

Much of that decline came from Afscme Council 24, which represents Wisconsin state workers, whose membership plunged by two-thirds to 7,100 from 22,300 last year.

A provision of the Walker law that eliminated automatic dues collection hurt union membership. When a public-sector contract expires the state now stops collecting dues from the affected workers' paychecks unless they say they want the dues taken out, said Peter Davis, general counsel of the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission.

In many cases, Afscme dropped members from its rolls after it failed to get them to affirm they want dues collected, said a labor official familiar with Afscme's figures. In a smaller number of cases, membership losses were due to worker layoffs.

Looks like a lot of public sector workers may like their unions . . . but not enough to keep paying the dues if they have the option. Like, two-thirds of them.

Apply this across the country . . . and you're talking about the evisceration of one of the Democratic party's most important political allies -- a game-changer in politics in so many states. Compulsory union-due collection was the glue that kept the whole operation together. Ed Schultz may be exaggerating when he says a Republican win means America will never elect a Democratic president again . . . but his vision might not be that wildly exaggerated.
Walker is going to win. In the debate last night challenger Tom Barrett was unable to name one single thing he would have done to fix Wisconsin's $3 billion budget deficit other than restore collective bargaining rights, which of course wouldn't have fixed anything. He's got nothing to offer and it looks like he'll be able to continue screwing up Milwaukee once the election is over on Tuesday.

1 comment:

Sam L. said...

And a Walker supporter was arrested at Barrett's appearance.