Public sector unions could lose about a third of their members as a result of a Supreme Court ruling that found forced dues as a condition of employment unconstitutional.
The Supreme Court issued a June 27 ruling in Janus v. AFSCME that found mandatory dues to unions in the public sector a violation of workers’ right to free speech. The ruling affected roughly 5 million workers. (RELATED: The Supreme Court Just Handed Down Its Big Decisions On Mandatory Union Dues)
Lloyd Corder, a professional marketing strategist and business professor at Carnegie Mellon University, polled 311 public-sector employees between Aug. 6 and Aug. 13. Corder’s study, released Monday, gives insight into how the Janus ruling might affect public sector unions in the coming months and years.
“Many experts described this ruling as the most significant court decision affecting collective bargaining rights in decades, and most agree that the ruling means public sector unions throughout the United States could lose millions of dollars in forced dues payments,” the study says.
About 7 out of 10 union members are aware of the ruling and its effects — unions can no longer accept dues or fees without the worker’s express consent. Just over half of those surveyed believed the ruling was a positive step forward for workers’ rights.
The stat that should have unions worried the most — and coincidentally directly affects their revenue — is that 31 percent of public sector union members surveyed said they planned to exercise their newly protected right and quit the union if they had not done so already.
If the study is representative, union membership could plummet by more than 1.5 million in the coming months.
The outflux of members leaving the unions will be a direct hit to union revenue and could cause a rash of layoffs within unions themselves. The exodus will also hit Democratic politicians who receive the lion’s share of funding from big labor groups.
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