Wisconsin Unions Dwindle Ahead of Recall Vote


The Wall Street Journal reports:

Public-employee unions in Wisconsin have experienced a dramatic drop in membership—by more than half for the second-biggest union—since a law championed by Republican Gov. Scott Walker sharply curtailed their ability to bargain over wages and working conditions. …

[A] victory for the governor, who has been leading his Democratic opponent in recent polls, would amount to an endorsement of an effort to curtail public-sector unions, which have been a pillar of strength for organized labor while private-sector membership has dwindled.

That could mean the sharp losses that some Wisconsin public-worker unions have experienced is a harbinger of similar unions’ future nationwide, union leaders fear. Failure to oust Mr. Walker and overturn the Wisconsin law “spells doom,” said Bryan Kennedy, the American Federation of Teachers’ Wisconsin president.

Federal data has confirmed that Walker’s reforms have been successful in helping turn the state’s economy around.

While public sector unions are commonplace today, liberal heroes like Franklin Delano Roosevelt once considered the idea of government unions “unthinkable and intolerable” because “it is impossible to bargain collectively with the government.”