While some of President Trump’s reforms to how unions conduct their business inside the government have been temporarily put on hold by a judge, changes are still taking place. Unions don’t hold the same level of absolute authority they’ve enjoyed under previous administrations and delinquent workers are being shown the door at a slightly faster rate than was previously seen. When you combine that with the recent Supreme Court decision affecting mandatory union membership and the extraction of dues from nonmembers, it begins to look as if real reform is underway.
But now the government unions may be facing a new problem and it’s coming from within their own ranks. A recent survey indicates that as many as a third of government employees would drop their union if that was a viable option. Perhaps all is not quite so happy inside the union family as we’d been led to believe. (Free Beacon)
One-in-three public sector workers would leave their unions given the chance, according to a new poll.
Government union members won the right to cease automatic fee payments to unions in June after the Supreme Court found that mandatory dues as a condition of employment violated the U.S. Constitution. A poll found that a large portion of workers plan on taking that option now that it is available to them following the Supreme Court’s 5-4 Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees ruling overturning coercive unionism.
“One-third plan to change what they are paying, with 6% saying they have already stopped paying dues and 25% saying they plan to stop paying,” the poll found.
A majority of members said they still plan on paying their dues or (and this is a big caveat) continue paying “agency fees” which supposedly only go toward collective bargaining work and not the union’s political campaigns. This is, of course, a distinction without a difference because money is fungible. Still, among the majority who will stick around, a portion of those don’t want the union engaging in political speech on their behalf. From that perspective, it’s not difficult to interpret this as meaning that only a minority still want to keep the status quo and have a chunk of their pay going toward advertising for Democrats.
At the other extreme, some workers have already stopped paying their dues and fully another quarter plan to stop in the near future. That’s a serious kick in the wallet for the unions. On top of that, assuming that the President’s Executive Orders are restored on appeal, the unions will be forced to spend more of that money on actual union business, such as paying for office space and union halls. They won’t be able to use taxpayer-funded facilities inside the halls of government as their private office space and let Uncle Sam pay the bills.
The fact that more than half of the members still support union membership in Washington, D.C. shouldn’t be too surprising. It’s a climate when tends to breed a population that skews liberal and would lend itself to union support. But as you move further away from D.C. and the coastal cities, I’m guessing that the number of people interested in continuing to be forced into union membership and paying dues will drop off substantially. By 2020 we may have a good indication as to what effect this has had based on how much cash the unions are kicking into Democratic candidates’ coffers.