The collapse of corrupt unions in Wisconsin


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[The reason unions fought Scott Walker’s reforms so hard] wasn’t because they were worried about employees as much as they were worried about losing political clout, earned mainly through forced contributions and closed shops. They used that money not so much to improve the lives of public-sector employees, but to hand-pick their bosses, who would also be their negotiating partners. Now that their cash flow has become so greatly restricted — and will likely become even more so — they have to focus on delivering value to members or watch them walk away. That’s exactly how it should have been all along.

Morrissey is commenting on a Washington Post article, which noted these facts:

Union officials declined to release precise membership data but confirmed in interviews that enrollment is dramatically lower since the new law was signed in 2011. The state branch of the National Education Association, once 100,000 strong, has seen its membership drop by a third. The American Federation of Teachers, which organized in the college system, saw a 50 percent decline. The 70,000-person membership in the state employees union has fallen by 70 percent.

The bottom line is that the use of force is almost always wrong, whether it is forcing people to join unions or forcing florists to participate in gay weddings. Forcing public employees to be union members didn’t so much improve their wages as much as encourage corruption in the public sector while simultaneously screwing the taxpayer.

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2 comments

  • wodun

    I remember a number of years back when the teachers union went on strike in Washington. They got their pay increase and then the union jacked up their dues at the same rate.

  • Jake V

    Mr. Zimmerman’s summary at the end nails it. I read awhile back that union members in right to work states are happier with their unions than union members in non right to work (closed shop) states. This is because the unions in right to work states have to provide a service to their members that is worth paying for while in a state with a closed shop the union members have to pay even when the union leadership is corrupt and does not care about its members.

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