When given a choice to pay union dues or keep the money to feed their family, union members choose family. You know the real one, not some made up one by the union bosses. In Wisconsin union membership has plummeted thanks to Gov. Scott Walker’s policies that give public sector workers the right to choose whether or not to pay union dues. The proof is in the pudding. And union leaders are responding by turning up the heat and charging existing members more. That’s pathetic. The Washington Times reports:
An analysis by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel found that unions have lost between 30 percent and 60 percent of their members. Membership in District Council 48 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, for example, declined from 9,000 members to fewer than 3,500. The trimmed membership rolls mean less money for the union bosses. Local 48’s budget once reflected a $7 million surplus, and now the union is $650,000 in the red. The national union was required to bail out the local, and it’s not even a stimulus.
Wisconsin does not yet offer workers in the private economy the freedom to reject forced union membership, but other states are moving to do so. A right-to-work law took effect last year in Indiana, and a similar law became effective in March in Michigan. That’s good news for employees who want to keep all of their paycheck, not so good for the unions and their officers.
Michigan, once one of the most unionized of all the states, saw union membership decline from 671,000 to 629,000, and in Indiana, union membership dipped from 302,000 to 246,000. This pattern will likely continue. The National Education Association, the largest teachers union and one of the most partisan of all unions, lost nearly 7 percent of its members between 2008 and 2009. To avoid taking a hit in the union treasury, the union bosses raised the dues of the remaining members. According to numbers compiled by the Education Intelligence Agency, 44 state NEA affiliates have reported losing thousands of members.
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