Death, Taxes...and Union Dues?

As the ethically-challenged judge in Wisconsin holds up Scott Walkers’ union-reform law again (for another two months) and AFSCME bullies local businesses and think tanks receive death threats, the fight in Wisconsin (and elsewhere) is becoming clearly about union power, nothing more and nothing less.


On Friday, to reconfirm just how much is at stake for union bosses, near the bottom of a Wall Street Journal piece came this juicy tidbit:

Union chiefs like Mr. Parrett know what that means for their political clout. After taking office in 2005, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels used an executive order to end collective bargaining for public workers—a power granted by former Governor Evan Bayh.

The number of state public employees has since fallen to 28,700 from 35,000. But more important, the vast majority of those employees stopped paying union dues. Today, 1,490 state employees pay union dues in Indiana, down from 16,408 in 2005. Similar declines have played out in Washington State and Utah, when those states gave members the freedom to choose.

This is the prospect that has Wisconsin labor leaders so furious these days—furious enough that they’ll even threaten the livelihoods of local business owners who won’t join them at the barricades. This is the nasty modern reality of government union power.

So, with government employees having the right to choose whether or not to pay union bosses in Indiana, union bosses’ coffers lost over 90% of the dues going in. This, more than anything, likely has unions so worried and why the United Steelworkers stated in a press release:


So far in Wisconsin, conservatives have granted only government workers the right to freeload – the ability to benefit from collective bargaining without paying union dues. In nine other states, from Main to Missouri, conservatives are pushing right to freeload legislation to cripple all unions.

Of course, with substantially less money coming into their coffers, union bosses have plenty to worry about—as do their Democrat puppets. [As an aside, Politico is reporting that President Obama is launching his re-election campaign next week.]

It’s been said that there are two things in life that are a certainty: death and taxes. Even though only one of those should be a necessity, union bosses would love to see a third added to the list—union dues.


“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776


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