Thursday, April 11, 2013

Wisconsin union membership plunging as workers exercise new rights

No wonder the unions were screaming bloody murder.
Two years after the protracted, bitter battle that pitted Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker against the state's public-sector unions and their allies, one thing is clear: Those unions are now shrinking rapidly.
The Badger State battle was over a law called Act 10 that reined in most state and local government employee unions, primarily by the ending the automatic deduction of union dues from workers' paychecks.

Before Walker's reforms, it didn't matter if, say, a city hall clerk or a public school teacher wanted to support a union or not. They had to pay if they wanted to keep their jobs. The money was taken directly out of their paychecks just as if it were a tax.

Big Labor feared -- and conservative groups hoped -- that without this legal requirement a lot of union members would simply drop out. That assumption has turned out to be correct.

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