Friday, June 1, 2012

Wisconsin Unions' Ranks Drop

Freedom is a wonderful thing.

The Wall Street Journal reports that since the passage of Governor Scott Walker's reforms, Wisconsin public unions have seen a dramatic drop in membership. When given the choice, members decided against joining.

Public-employee unions in Wisconsin have experienced a dramatic drop in membership—by more than half for the second-biggest union—since a law championed by Republican Gov. Scott Walker sharply curtailed their ability to bargain over wages and working conditions.

...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.

...In the nearly 15 months since Mr. Walker signed the law, 6,000 of the [American Federation of Teachers] AFT's Wisconsin 17,000 members quit, the union said. It blamed the drop on the law.

This drop in the membership means a drop in political power for the unions.

They no longer have as many individuals under their thumb.

Act 10 meant thousands of people were freed from the union shakedown.

Thousands bailed.

No wonder Tom Barrett is avoiding Act 10 as a recall election issue, even though that's what started the recall effort in the first place.

Why haven't we seen these numbers from a local media source?

I think they tell a dramatic story.


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