Worker Freedom Leads to Huge Drop in Union Membership in Wisconsin

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


Freedom gives people the power to opt out of associations they don’t want. And the only ones who fear workers escaping from their organizational prisons are jailers because they worry about the inevitable loss of wealth and power that comes about when workers are free to choose.

More than two years after Scott Walker’s showdown with organized labor in Wisconsin, the official numbers for the state’s public sector union membership are in — and they are down. Way down.

According a Labor Department filing made last week, membership at Wisconsin’s American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 40 — one of AFSCME’s four branches in the state — has gone from the 31,730 it reported in 2011, to 29,777 in 2012, to just 20,488 now. That’s a drop of more than 11,000 — about a third — in just two years.

Labor Department filings also show that Wisconsin’s AFSCME Council 48, which represents city and county workers in Milwaukee County, went from 9,043 members in 2011, to 6,046 in 2012, to just 3,498 now.

They show why the state worker unions and their liberal allies fought such a protracted, bitter battle in 2011 over Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s changes to the state’s labor laws. Under the old laws, state employees were obligated to pay dues to a union even if that worker didn’t want to belong to a union. Walker changed that to allow state workers to opt out of paying those dues.

And now the unions are bleeding members because their membership was not a membership of choice, but compulsion. It’s why unions have rammed through more compulsory membership in Maryland, along with 2nd amendment violations, because the only way they can hang on to power is through the force of the law.

  • burkasrugly

    I had a relative in Wisconsin vote against Walker. I hope he sees the light now finally. Some people never will.

  • Arlie

    I still have a sticker on the back of my auto "I Stand With Scott Walker".

    Did you know that every time a baby is born it is traded on the Stock Exchange? We are all Slaves to the US Corporation and they trade us as such….some proof:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYLe02uld_0

  • kafir4life

    Trumpka the Hutt looks a little constipated in the picture along with the article. Not really…..He doesn't look a little anything!
    I avoid union made goods and services whenever possible. We moved from the union run NYS to a right to work state, saving over 150 bucks a WEEK in the process (That's JUST the difference in taxes). Union run companies and states make the worst stuff. They manufacture garbage from the auto plants to the schools. Buying from a union run entity is like giving your hard earned money to slugs and democrat politicians (sounds redundant, I know).

    • Buddy

      The RTW states take more from the federal government than y'all pay in taxes. YOU are America's welfare queens. NO AID FOR WACO!!!!!

  • Ar'nun

    G-d bless Scott Walker. The man is a courageous genius.

  • Spikey1

    Make donations to unions; voluntary, non tax deductible and non- withholdable (non-auto pay) on a paycheck as opposed to mandatory and deductible as a withholding (auto pay).
    This will be easier to accomplish than passing right to work laws.
    Accomplishing any or all three of these items will hurt the the profiteers and the power they have.

  • kodyboy

    Of course membership is down, they are a bunch of freeloaders getting union benefits for nothing! What a joke and I hope every repub is voted out of office ASAP!

  • MadBadger

    Scott Walker, best Gov in the USA. Proud to be a cheesehead from Wisconsin.

  • mlcblog

    I couldn't be happier to hear a piece of news.

  • Buddy

    Yup. When people can get something without paying for it, some will.