July 23, 2013

The rapid demise of unions

People who are not left of center frequently argue that the unions (and esp. public sector unions) create a feedback loop for Democrats. They write closed shop laws that force people to join unions which forcibly collects dues from members which is uses to fund Democrat campaigns. Democrats are elected and beholden to unions so they expand union influence and control which means more money etc.

They fought very very hard against Scott Walker in Wisconsin because they knew the outcome if they lost. They knew that they cannot convince people that joining a union is a net benefit for them.

What has happened in Wisconsin since the law was changed?: In 2010 the year that Walker was elected governor the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees District Council 48 was thriving, having enrolled more than 9,000 workers and reporting income exceeding $7 million.

By the end of 2012, District Council 48 was down to just under 3,500 dues-paying members a loss of nearly two-thirds of its represented workers.

The local also reported its net worth had plummeted, so it is now more than $650,000 in the red. This was the case even after AFSCME's international headquarters pumped $250,000 into the Milwaukee's union's coffers last year.

Rich Abelson, the longtime head of District 48 who recently left for an AFSCME job in Washington, D.C., did not return calls.

Other public employee unions are faring only marginally better. Most have lost between 30% and 60% of their members in the past two years.

Emphasis mine.

Think of that. Workers are fleeing the unions in droves. They know they have no value for them and they don't need them. Unions cannot make their case with logic and reason. They have to force people to join them to survive.

I believe unions were, at one point, necessary for workers. They kept them from dangerous working conditions and predatory practices (company towns). The courts have addressed most of these problems and the regular joe has more options today and it is much easier to either move or seek redress through the courts. Unions, IMNHO, have failed to change with the times. They still act like it's 1962. I also believe people should have the right to form unions and use collective bargaining to their advantage. They should not, however, be able to force anyone to join them in order to work. Unions are a private entity. Imagine if you told a liberal that you were going to turn control over a school district to a private entity. They'd go bananas. Somehow this logic flies out the window when you tell them the entity is a union. They have this weird notion that not for profit entities are run by angels. Unless it's a church 'cause those guys are charlatans and crooks. Doubly so if they're Catholic.

Posted by Duffy at July 23, 2013 03:52 PM | TrackBack

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