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Worker Freedom Leads to Huge Drop in Union Membership in Wisconsin

Posted By Daniel Greenfield On April 8, 2013 @ 10:23 pm In The Point | 10 Comments

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.


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