Why are so many WI workers not paying union dues?
The good news is that Gov. Scott Walker is a formidable presidential candidate. The bad news is that formidable candidates always draw a lot of media attention, unless your name is Obama, and then you get a pass on issues.
A new Washington Post front-page article discusses the impact that Gov. Walker's policies have had on unions:
Walker had vowed that union power would shrink, workers would be judged on their merits, and local governments would save money. Unions had warned that workers would lose benefits and be forced to take on second jobs or find new careers.
Many of those changes came to pass, but the once-thriving public-sector unions were not just shrunken — they were crippled.
Unions representing teachers, professors, trash collectors and other government employees are struggling to stem plummeting membership rolls and retain relevance in the state where they got their start.
Here in King, Magnant and her fellow AFSCME members, workers at a local veterans home, have been knocking on doors on weekends to persuade former members to rejoin.
Community college professors in Moraine Park, home to a technical college, are reducing dues from $59 to $36 each month.
And those in Milwaukee are planing a campaign using videos and posters to highlight union principles.
The theme: “Remember.”
Remember what? Remember the days when members had to join the unions?
Gov. Walker's policies did not force members to leave the union. All of those former union members left when they had the choice to leave.
According to a former union member quoted in the article: "The money I’d spend on dues is way more valuable to buy groceries for my family."
Another former union member said that unions are "just not something I concern myself with."
The moral of the story is that unions survive as long as they require members to pay dues. Once the members are given a choice, they choose to leave.
Let's not overlook another point about these public-sector unions. I know a teacher up in Wisconsin who was outraged because her dues were going to only one political party. In other words, dues to public-sector unions, were nothing but contributions to the Democratic Party.
And more will leave across the country when they have a choice.
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