In Case You Missed It: Unions Fail in California
All eyes might have been on Wisconsin last night – as voters went to the polls to reaffirm their support for Scott Walker* and send a message that true leadership and real reforms will win over demagoguery and whining – but another battle over Big Labor was playing out half a country away, in California.
In San Diego and San Jose, voters overwhelmingly approved ballot initiatives that would cut pension benefits for city workers (i.e., public sector workers). In San Jose, about 70% of voters favored the reforms, while in San Diego, 67% supported the measure to help balance the city budgets.
Big Labor has spent over a year and millions of dollars trying to paint Wisconsin as ground zero in a supposed war against workers and the middle class, but in reality, union participation is already at an all-time low:
Just 9% of the workforce belongs to a union; yet to hear the liberal media, you’d think that number was substantially higher. And when workers are no longer forced to pay dues or join a union, membership drops considerably, as we saw in Wisconsin (subs. req’d.):
“Wisconsin membership in the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees—the state’s second-largest public-sector union after the National Education Association, which represents teachers—fell to 28,745 in February from 62,818 in March 2011, according to a person who has viewed Afscme’s figures. A spokesman for Afscme declined to comment.
“Much of that decline came from Afscme Council 24, which represents Wisconsin state workers, whose membership plunged by two-thirds to 7,100 from 22,300 last year.
“A provision of the Walker law that eliminated automatic dues collection hurt union membership. When a public-sector contract expires the state now stops collecting dues from the affected workers’ paychecks unless they say they want the dues taken out, said Peter Davis, general counsel of the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission.”
Despite the outcry from Big Labor that any change to their operations is an attack on the middle class, the real middle class has apparently decided that they are tired of giving their tax dollars to fund exorbitant benefits and lavish pensions, as voters in both Wisconsin and California proved last night.
*Gov. Walker won the recall vote with 53% of the vote to challenger Tom Barrett’s 46%. Gov. Walker received a higher percentage of votes in the recall than he won in his original election back in 2010.