Less than 3 years after Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed his collective bargaining reforms (Act 10), more than 100,000 union members have left Big Labor. The Left has fought these reforms at every step, but when workers are given the choice, they have overwhelmingly voted to leave government unions. Wisconsin’s reforms prove that public sector union representation is becoming an antiquated idea. Other states should follow Wisconsin’s example and provide government workers with the freedom to vote on union representation.
On Thursday, more than 70 local unions failed their re-certification votes with over 5,500 employees walking out on their unions as a result. Thursday was the deadline for many public sector unions to vote for the first time whether they would have union representation. Part of Act 10 was the requirement that government unions annually hold a re-certification vote. Many labor unions pre-empted their reforms through ramming through contract extensions for various lengths of time. Consequently, Thursday marked the end of the first voting period for many unions across the state.
Prior to this week’s re-certification votes, numerous reports have come out about loss of union membership. While it is very hard to pin down the exact number of "members" the unions have lost largely because unions are not willing to release this information, we can come up with a minimum estimate of union dues paying members who have left their respective unions based upon publicly available information.