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PORTSIDELABOR  April 2012, Week 2

PORTSIDELABOR April 2012, Week 2


Union Survival Strategies in Open Shop America


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Back to the Future: Union Survival Strategies in Open
Shop America

Social Policy, Spring, 2012 

By Steve Early and Rand Wilson

Submitted to Portside by the author

When the history of mid-western de-unionization is
written, its sad chroniclers will begin their story in
Indiana. That is where Governor Mitch Daniels paved the
way, in 2005, for copycat attacks on public-sector
bargaining in Wisconsin, Ohio, and Michigan -- and for a
successful assault on private sector union security in
his own state earlier this year.

A right-wing Republican, Daniels was elected in 2004.
Immediately after taking office, he began cutting state
agency jobs and, via executive order, revoked
state-employee bargaining rights granted by his
Democratic predecessor, Evan Bayh. Over the next six
years, state government employment dropped from 35,000
to 28,700. In 2005, 16,408 state workers were paying
union dues; by 2011, only 1,490 still belonged to labor
organizations now deprived of dues check-off.1

n Indiana, the end of collective bargaining led to a
pay freeze in 2009 and 2010, introduction of a new
merit-pay system, loss of seniority rights, and
health-care cost shifting. Several state employees
interviewed by The New York Times in February, 2011,
reported paying $5,200 a year for their insurance
premiums -- $3,400 more than when Daniels took over.
According to The Times's reporter, Steven Greenhouse,
the resulting drop in union membership was due "to
workers deciding it was no longer worth paying dues to
newly-toothless unions."

Jim Mills, a welfare worker in New Castle, Indiana,
offered a different explanation for why his union
branch shrank from 260 to twelve members: workers were
afraid that management would retaliate against them for
union activity once they were no longer protected by
union contracts.2

Republican governors elected in the fall of 2010 -- like
Scott Walker in Wisconsin, John Kasich in Ohio, and
Rick Snyder in Michigan -- all looked to Daniels as
their model. For unions like the Service Employees, the
American Federation of State, County, and Municipal
Employees (AFSCME), the two national teacher
organizations, NEA and AFT, unionized firefighters and
police, the Indiana scenario is a formula for union
marginalization, if not total extinction. As soon as
they took office in early 2011, Snyder and Kasich
quickly rescinded bargaining rights for the newest
public-sector union members in their respective
states--more than 40,000 child-care providers and
home-health aides. These workers had only recently been
organized under the terms of executive orders issued by
previous Democratic governors; none were covered by the
pension and medical plans covering regular state
workers, with a longer history of collective

Broader anti-union measures introduced by Walker in
Wisconsin, and by Kasich in Ohio, were adopted by state
legislators not long afterwards, triggering the mass
community-labor protests in Madison described and
analyzed elsewhere in this issue of Social Policy. In
Wisconsin, these demonstrations reached truly unusual
and inspiring proportions in the winter of 2011. The
focus of organized labor's counter-campaign then became
a partially successful recall effort aimed at
Republican legislators and a legal challenge that
delayed -- but did not prevent -- implementation of the
law.4 Weighing its potential impact on 360,000 public
employees in the Buckeye State, some experts argued
that SB-5, Ohio's anti-union law, was even tougher than
Wisconsin's, because uniformed public-safety employees
were included whereas Walker excluded them from his
"budget repair" bill.5 Fortunately, labor opponents of
SB-5 collected more than one million signatures to
force a referendum vote last November that repealed
Kasich's draconian curbs on collective bargaining in

In Wisconsin, however, all state employees have been
thrust into a new open-shop environment since last
summer. County and municipal unions, along with local
teachers' associations, are losing their ability to
collect dues through automatic payroll deduction as
their current contracts expire. According to University
of Wisconsin labor historian Stephen Meyer, Walker's
anti-union legislation is worse than the private sector
"right to work" laws spawned by the 1947 Taft-Hartley
Act "because it requires that unions get re-certified
by their members yearly, at the same time that the
unions are prevented from accomplishing anything for
them."6 The new electoral deck is further stacked
against incumbent unions by the requirement that they
win recertification by majority vote of everyone in the
bargaining, rather than just 50% plus one, of the
workers who turn out to vote.7

Most of the 1.6 million American workers covered by
labor agreements, but who are not union members, can be
found in our twenty-three right-to-work states. This
political bloc increased by one earlier this year, when
Indiana's Republican-controlled legislature passed a
bill signed by Governor Daniels that outlawed
negotiation of any contract clause requiring payroll
deduction of dues -- or non-member "agency fees" -- for
union representation. In Indiana, as elsewhere, unions
in private industry remain legally obligated under the
National Labor Relations Act, which Taft-Hartley
amended, to provide services on an equal basis to
everyone in their bargaining units, regardless of
whether individual workers contribute a dime. In New
Hampshire in 2011, it took a Democratic governor's veto
to prevent the open shop from being imposed there, with
similar unfair financial burdens, on unions in both the
private and public sector. If anti-union forces had
succeeded in the Granite state last year, as they did
in Indiana this year, it would have marked the first
encroachment of "right-to-work" in New England, a
supposed "blue state" bastion.8

Dues-Deduction Dependence

Wherever legally sanctioned, negotiated provisions for
automatic payroll deduction of dues have long produced
a guaranteed income stream for U.S. labor
organizations. With the revenue from dues and "agency
fees" -- payments required by workers who choose not to
join -- unions have paid for their lawyers, lobbyists,
full-time negotiators, and field staff. They have also
helped finance state, local, and/or national election
campaign activity by their members, some of whom also
make voluntary membership contributions to union
politicalaction funds. Some commentators on the left
have long argued that "dues check off" makes unions
less responsive to workers, because the latter have no
way of withholding financial support from organizations
granted the exclusive legal right to represent them.
One radical critic of the union shop -- a longtime labor
educator and former organizer in the garment industry --
believes that labor's post-New-Deal reliance on
government certification and automatic dues deduction
effectively "precludes any meaningful internal
democracy -- a precondition to a militant mass

For better or worse, depending on your point of view,
major unions are now operating in hundreds, if not
thousands, of workplaces in which union membership has
just become voluntary again. According to the
all-knowing editors of the New York Times, Republican
sponsors of recent openshop legislation are mistaken in
their belief that "unions will simply fade away" when
they have "no ability to raise funds." Says The Times,
optimistically, "As much as unions may struggle with
these new shackles, their members -- and their
motivation -- are not going away."10 On the other hand,
it has been many decades since passage of the NLRA and
the later public-sector bargaining laws modeled after
it. During that time, most unions have not had to
function as voluntary membership organizations within
privateand public-sector enterprises in much of the
country. One major challenge they face today is quickly
adapting to this new and more difficult
"internalorganizing" environment. In Wisconsin, for
example, a combination of rank-and-file apathy, anger,
fear, and/or dissatisfaction over past union
representation, including recent concession bargaining
about wages and benefits, could easily send dues
receipts plummeting to Indiana levels, if unions do not
strengthen their workplace structures and become more

This is exactly the crisis that faced Local 100 of the
Transport Workers Union (TWU) New York City, when it
paid a high price for its workplace militancy seven
years ago. After a 2005 citywide bus and subway system
strike, 35,000 transit workers were punished under New
York's Taylor law which prohibits walkouts by public
employees. Local 100 members were assessed fines
ranging from $650 to $750, the equivalent of three
days' pay for most strikers. The local was fined $2.5
million, its president briefly jailed, and automatic
dues deduction temporarily suspended. The contract
settlement, which included unpopular givebacks, was
rejected narrowly but later imposed by an arbitrator.

The punitive suspension of TWU's dues check-off deal
with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority resulted
in the local's paid-up membership sinking to nearly
fifty percent in the bargaining unit involved in the
strike. Local 100's weak and demoralized steward
structure made systematic hand collection of dues
impossible in many workplaces. Members were bitter and
angry about being fined for striking against benefit
concessions they were ultimately forced to accept
anyway, after a work stoppage that many felt was poorly
organized and led by the union.

Dues deduction was eventually restored but, as recently
as late 2009 when a reform slate took over Local 100,
about 17,000 former strikers were not eligible to vote
because they still owed as much as $900 in back dues
and could not or would not pay that amount. Members of
the Take Back Our Union slate, headed by current Local
100 President John Samuelsen were faced with the
monumental challenge of restoring rank-and-file
confidence in the TWU and gradually coaxing as many
lapsed members as possible back into the fold. In late
2010, when Local 100 began preparing for contract
negotiations this year, stewards, officers, and
staffers were still trying to get 14,000 bus and subway
workers back into good membership standing.

In the rest of this article, we examine the pressing
debate, within labor, about how best to respond to such
daunting open-shop conditions, whether they arise in
atypical Local 100 fashion or as the result of
legislation and executive orders that more permanently
disrupt union financing, administration, and day-to-day

Clearly, conducting "business as usual" is not a viable
option in new open-shop states. If government-employee
unions remain what Stanley Aronowitz calls "insurance
companies and grievance machines," the soft underbelly
of mainstream unionism, public sector division, may
soon be exposed for all to see. Are there ways that
these endangered labor organizations can operate
"outside the protection of the law?"11 Can they learn
to function with greater membership consent,
rank-and-file participation, and voluntary financial
buy-in than was needed in the past? Can they develop
internal organizing plans based on worker-toworker
relationship building and collective action on the job
as a substitute for formal collective bargaining?

Lessons of Southern Organizing

Public-sector unionists with long experience in
openshop states like Tennessee, Mississippi, North
Carolina, or Texas argue that all is not lost for their
brothers and sisters north of the Mason-Dixon Line. In
North Carolina, notes United Electrical Workers (UE)
organizer Leah Fried, "collective bargaining rights
were stripped from public employees in 1959 by an
all-white state legislature [which] made it illegal for
state and local governments to enter into collective
bargaining agreements with workers." For more than
fifteen years, the UE has "helped public workers across
North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia form
non-majority unions that organize and fight to improve
workers' lives on the job without a contract."12

UE Local 150, the North Carolina Public Service Workers
Union, initially concentrated on gaining strength
within the state university system, which includes
sixteen campuses and over 19,000 workers. The union's
primary base and leadership came from parts of the
workforce that is majority African-American and female,
like house-keeping, groundskeeping, and other blue
collar jobs. As UE organizer Steve Bader reported in
Labor Notes, "When UNC refused to meet with the union,
UE 150 organized Martin Luther King Day leafleting,
Black History Month black armband days, and meetings
with legislators [that] culminated in a meeting between
UNC System President Molly Broad's office and 18 rank
and file workers. The meeting pressured the president
into issuing an official memo that recognized workers'
rights to join and build their union without
retaliation, changed the grievance policy to allow a
co-worker grievance assistant, and established 'meet
and confer' bodies between employees and top

Later, the UE expanded to other UNC campuses and the
Department of Health and Human Services, where members
held union meetings during lunch or break time to
decide on issues and strategies. An independent union
of city workers in Durham voted to affiliate with UE
Local 150 and has even conducted several strikes.
Whether they are state or municipal employees,
rank-and-file activists are trained to represent
co-workers in grievance meetings with management and
serve as elected stewards and officers. According to

"Victories in this area include winning formal
grievances over unfair discipline. In at least three
cases, racist managers and supervisors have been forced
to leave the job due to pressure from the union. At
almost every institution, union chapters have had
direct meetings with management regarding workplace
issues. In several instances they have won concrete
changes, such as improved equipment, respect for or
changed policy, and internally granted raises of
$1,500-3,000 for individual workers."

UE Local 150 also gathers, organizes, and distributes
data on wages, benefits, personnel practices, and
employment-related legislative initiatives --
information that may be publicly available but
difficult for workers to obtain. The union has
established a regular presence in the capital when the
legislature is in session and regularly contacts
lawmakers about issues affecting public workers.
Rank-and-file members are organized and encouraged to
speak directly to elected officials, rather than
relying on professional lobbyists. UE legislative
priorities or accomplishments in the past include
winning flat rather than percentage raises, to aid the
lowest paid, passage of bills to improve the grievance
procedure, and win stronger family and medical leave
rights and protection against discrimination based on
disability. The UE has also generated much publicity
for its creative challenge of North Carolina's legal
ban on public-sector bargaining as a violation of
international labor standards.

Tom Smith is an organizer for and former president of
Communications Workers of America Local 3865,
Tennessee's United Campus Workers (UCW). UCW/ CWA is a
"non-majority union" of state university workers that's
grown from two dozen members on one campus to more than
1,200 in eight cities in the last ten years. "While
having dues check-off helps, not having it isn't
fatal," says Smith, although he notes that "we struggle
with selfsustainability every day." According to Smith,
in the early years of Local 3865, "elements of our
leadership argued that having to hand-collect dues kept
the local's leaders and organizers honest. This
attitude meant attending weekly meetings to make plans
to collect dues. Quickly we realized that spending the
majority of our time playing bill collector was not
part and parcel of union democracy, nor did it help
build the kind of political relationships we're aiming
for on the job."14

Instead, stewards started to spend more of their time
"listening to co-workers, gathering opinions about how
to build the union, organizing meetings, and working to
save jobs from budget cuts." Local 3865 switched from
hand collection of cash or checks to a bank-draft
system which enables dues to be deducted straight from
members' accounts. But that requires new members to
fill out a form providing their bank routing and
account numbers, which creates "a new layer of
difficulty in signing up members."

"Bank drafts are complicated. We have a number of
different drafts depending on pay periods. As anyone
who has lived from paycheck to paycheck knows,
automatic withdrawals need to be timed so that enough
"available funds" are left behind to ensure groceries
and gas do not overdraw the account. When possible we
deduct dues from the check that does not contain the
health insurance premium."

According to Smith, "very few people sign on first
contact" because "a longer relationship must be built
beforehand." The amount of work required for dues
collection via bank drafts is still "very large." Local
3865 staff devote dozens of hours each month to adding
new members to the system, dealing with transaction
fees, returns that slam the union with an additional
fee, and costly "drops" when workers drop out of the
union. "We now know all the local bank routing numbers,
"he says, "so new members signing up can simply put
their bank's name on a dues form that specifies savings
or checking account, to prevent expensive returns."15

In Texas, the CWA-backed counterpart of Local 3865 is
the Texas State Employees Union (TSEU)/CWA Local 6186,
a group launched as a "non-majority union" organizing
project in the early 1980s. Although heavily subsidized
by the national union for many years, TSEU has built up
a dues-paying membership base, now numbering about
12,000, in the same fashion as higher-ed union
organizers in Tennessee. (Texas has more than 120,000
state employees.) Both white-collar and blue-collar
state workers can join, in any state department,
agency, or university system campus. As TSEU lead
organizer Jim Branson explains, "The union can
represent workers in grievance hearings, which means
that individual workers don't have to be on their own
when faced with some kind of adverse personnel
action."16 But individual worker representation in
grievance proceedings is just "a small part of what
TSEU does," Branson says.

"We have a voice on the job because we are an active
and growing movement that puts a lot of emphasis on
organizing. We have agency caucuses, made up of union
activists, who meet regularly to formulate goals and
plan actions for winning those goals. From time to
time, members of the caucus will meet with agency heads
to discuss our goals, and when the legislature is in
session, caucus members will speak directly to
lawmakers. ....If a united group of workers act like a
union, they can have a voice on the job. It's not easy,
but it can be done."

TSEU activist William Rogers says his union "has
managed to win some victories even though it has very
few legal rights." In 2007, for example, TSEU led a
campaign that saved thousands of government jobs by
preventing further expansion of privatization of the
state's health and human services. "That was a fight of
organized workers, even though we weren't a majority in
the health and human services agency, and we didn't
have collective bargaining," Branson said. "But members
mobilized like crazy. Their mobilization turned public
opinion against the privatization plan, and when the
contractor screwed up, the state had no choice but to
fire it." TSEU members throughout Texas lobbied elected
officials and succeeded in getting about 100 counties
and municipalities to pass resolutions against the
governor's privatization plan. They also visited state
legislators, marched, rallied, demonstrated, held press
conferences, and spoke out at public hearings. In the
process, reports Branson, "We got workers who had been
sitting on the fence to join the union. We were able to
maintain our presence in the agency -- even though a lot
of workers were quitting in anticipation of being laid
off -- because we never stopped organizing."

Rethinking the Union Idea in Wisconsin From the early
1930s until 1959, Wisconsin's public workers practiced
"informal bargaining," like UE and CWA members in the
South today, with the eventual goal of securing full
collective-bargaining rights. Their efforts began
during the great union wave of the 1930s when many
public employees, like private-sector workers, asserted
their rights to organize and negotiate with their
employers, wherever they could. It was through
organizing, demanding voluntary recognition, and
working to expand these bargaining relationships that
most Wisconsin public-sector unions were finally able
to win a legal mechanism for formal certification and
dues checkoff fifty years ago. Before that, union
members kept their organizations afloat with voluntary
dues payments, and/or national union subsidies. Several
competing University of Wisconsin faculty organizations
functioned this way until several years ago, when they
finally won the right to seek union certification,
based on representation elections -- only to lose that
new recognition process under Walker.

One longtime faculty organizer for the AFT was Frank
Emspak, who taught at the UW School for Workers and now
runs Workers Independent News (WIN), a labor radio
project based in Madison. Emspak was among those
veterans of last year's "Wisconsin uprising" who warned
about the impending impact of the June 2011
cancellation of automatic dues deduction. According to
Emspak, organized labor's shift to recall election
activity, after the state capitol occupation and
rallies ended, meant that "rebuilding of the locals in
offices and work sites took second place," even though
some unions, like the NEA-affiliated Wisconsin
Education Association Council (WEAC), did conduct
"training for their local union leaders based on member

According to Emspak, "as the spring turned to summer,
it became clearer that, at the level of the workplace,
the Wisconsin trade union movement faced a much more
difficult challenge [because] the culture and history
of public sector unionism has essentially been that of
a lobbying organization combined with a legalistic
contract enforcement mechanism heavily dependent on
arbitration. [F]or that to change at the base, one
would have to see an expenditure of resources similar
to that in the political sphere." As Emspak points out,
AFSCME Council 24 and the Wisconsin AFT "are in a
long-term untenable position unless they can organize
their members in individual dues collection programs."
As of mid-October, 2011, Emspak characterized their
individual sign-up results as "not too successful,"
with "some larger AFSCME and AFT locals covering state
workers" only having dues-paying membership of "about
10 percent."17 The recently organized University of
Wisconsin faculty units on campuses outside of Madison
-- although now stripped of the ability to negotiate
first contracts -- have a much higher reported
membership, nearly 75%.

The Wisconsin Teaching Assistants' Association (TAA) is
the forty-year-old Madison-based AFT affiliate that
helped trigger the state capitol take-over in February
2011. The TAA has a "strong organizing culture" and
"the ability to mobilize people when push comes to
shove," says TAA co-president Alex Hanna proudly.
Nevertheless, in any highturnover academic bargaining
unit of part-timers, finding and signing up members is
difficult under the best of legal circumstances. On the
Madison campus, in the past, the TAA has generally
achieved about 50% membership, while the remaining
1,500 teaching assistants were mandatory agency-fee

In August of 2011, the union launched its first
recruitment "blitz" under the current conditions of
having no contract that requires everyone in the
bargaining unit to pay their fair share of union
bargaining and servicing costs, in one form or another.
As TAA co-president Adrienne Pagac observed, "No law,
including one that grants an organization the right to
collectively bargain, makes us a union. Unions existed
prior to the implementation of such laws and will
remain even though Scott Walker and Republican
legislators have taken our rights from us." As of
February 2012, about 600 to 700 TAs had voluntarily
agreed to pay dues, less than half the TAA's old
membership level, although sign-ups continue throughout
the academic year.

David Newby, a founder of the TAA, former Madison
central labor council leader, and now the retired
president of the Wisconsin AFL-CIO, worries that
neither AFSCME nor AFT, in other state-worker units,
will be able to reach membership levels of 25%. He
fears that "this year will be the best they do for
membership unless they organize at the worksite and
start acting like a union, even though they don't have
contracts or legal status." One factor that has not
helped is the lack of any substantial dues reduction
from unions already facing budget crises and the need
to lay off staff. For example, TAA is getting no relief
on the per-capita dues it is still required to pay to
the AFT's state and national organizations for each
member it signs up. In contrast, when members of CWA
affiliates like the TSEU or Local 3865 in Tennessee
lack contract coverage, they pay lower than normal
dues, 1.15% for public-sector members.

AFSCME's university locals sought a reduction in their
dues, since members have suffered a big pay cut due to
benefit concessions extracted by Walker, but they got
just a few dollars knocked off average dues payments of
$39 a month. Both rank and filers and officials agree
that getting workers to pay dues voluntarily now is a
"hard sell" in many workplaces. As one Wisconsin union
officer told a reporter last year, "People have
different perspectives on whether the union will still
be what it was or should be and that may affect whether
they're willing to pay dues." Anne Habel of AFSCME
Local 171 believes that some of her co-workers will be
less likely to maintain their membership in a statewide
labor organization if "they don't understand what they
get from it."18

To encourage members of AFSCME Local 2748 to "recommit"
to paying dues through automatic deductions from their
bank accounts, union staffers first went door to door
on their own. Local 2748 member Estelle Clark reports
that the results got better when rank and filers from
Wisconsin's Department of Workforce Development were
recruited and trained to help with house visits,
"because they could relate better to their co-workers."
As Labor Notes reported in February, this one-on-one
canvassing "became a way not only to talk to inactive
members but also to develop leadership skills among
activists." Workplace meetings have been turned into
"an opportunity for members to discuss why belonging to
a union is important in the first place -- conversations
that many feel should have been happening all along."
In Rock County, seventy-six out of eighty
highway-maintenance shop workers are now AFSCME members
in good standing after collectively deciding to use the
same credit union for dues payments. "Walker said the
county couldn't collect our dues," explains Local 1077
President Marv Vike. "We're just going through a
different route."19

Like Newby, AFSCME Council 40 representative Ed
Sadlowski, Jr, welcomes this embrace of "old-school
unionism that we haven't had in the past." Already,
highway maintenance workers and public employees have
been forced to organize together, on the job, in
response to safety problems, work-rule changes, and
unfair discipline. Before Walker's law, the union might
just have filed grievances, Sadlowski notes, but "now
it's 'get people to the picket line.' Direct action
gets the goods." In Sadlowski's view, "we simply can't
return to the model of having a staff do everything for
workers and expect to survive as a union. Now, we
actually have to involve people and make them feel like
they, not their staff representatives, run their


Longtime union activist and sociology professor Stanley
Aronowitz has written extensively about the unhealthy
synergy between membership expectations and
public-sector-union functioning, as the latter has
evolved since the rank-and-file upsurge that won
collective-bargaining rights for teachers and other
civil servants in the 1960s and '70s. Over time,
members came to "view their unions as service
providers, rather than as instruments of mobilization."
As Aronowitz notes, "The unions may fight individual
grievances and negotiate decent contracts, but to call
upon their members to conduct collective political
fights -- including direct actions that might disturb
the comfortable relationship that the leadership enjoys
with the employer -- is well beyond the perspective, and
therefore, the capacity, of the union. In short, the
member is now generally a client of the union rather
than its owner."21

The rupture of labor-management relationships that may
have been "comfortable" in the past, plus the
accompanying loss of legal rights in a growing number
of states, have triggered membership-mobilization
activity reminiscent of the original struggles for
collective bargaining. In Wisconsin and elsewhere,
labor's recent defensive battles demonstrate that a new
model of union functioning is not only possible but
necessary for survival. As a first step in this process
of union transformation under duress, workers must
definitely shed their past role as "clients" or passive
consumers of union services. In workplaces without a
union or agency shop and collective bargaining as
practiced for many decades, they must take ownership of
their own organizations and return them to their
workplace roots, drawing on the experiences of public
workers in the South whose practice of public-sector
unionism has, by necessity, been very different for the
last half century.

Steve Early worked for twenty-seven years as an
organizer and international representative for the
Communications Workers of America.

Rand Wilson is organizing director of Service Employees
International Union Local 888 in Boston. This article
is an updated version of a chapter in Wisconsin
Uprising: Labor Fights Back (Monthly Review Books,
2012), edited by Michael D. Yates.


[1] Editorial, "Wisconsin Unions Get Ugly," The Wall
Street Journal, February 9, 2011

[2] Steve Greenhouse, "In Indiana, Clues to future of
Wisconsin Labor," The New York Times, February 27,
2011, page 1.

[3] See Steve Early, "GOP Targets Fragile Gains of
Home-Based Caregivers," Working In These Times, April
9, 2011

[4] Jane Slaughter, "Judge Blocks Wisconsin Law as
Unions Scramble to Beat Bargaining Deadline," Labor
Notes, March 18, 2011.

[5] See news analysis by Stephen Greenhouse, New York
Times, April 1, 2011, A16.

[6] Stephen Meyer, as quoted by Roger Bybee in "What
Wisconsin Means," Dollars & Sense, May/June 2011,
page16.  Bybee, one of the best reporters on the scene
Madison, describes in detail the public sector labor
law changes won by Walker that were aimed at "making
union representation futile."

[7] For more details on how Wisconsin unions,
particularly local education associations, are faring
so far under these new election rules, see Wade Rathke,
"Republican Anti-Worker Perversions in Wake of
Anti-Union Laws," Chief Organizer Blog, January 1,
2012, posted at

[8] Shira Schoenberg, "N.H. closing in on a repeal of
union dues rule," The Boston Globe, June 18, 2011, A1

[9] Email to authors from Martin Morand.

[10] Editorial, "Union-Bashing, Now in Ohio," New York
Times, April 5, 2011, A20

[11] Aronowitz is a professor of sociology at City
University of New York and a union activist since the
1960s.  See his article entitled,  "One, Two, Many
Madisons: The War on Public Sector Workers," New Labor
Forum, Spring, 2011, pp. 15-21.

[12] Leah Fried, "No Bargaining Is No Cure for Budget
Ills," Labor Notes, April 14, 2011

[13] Steve Bader, "Pre-Majority' Public Workers Union
Makes Gains in North Carolina," Labor Notes, September
1, 2002.

[14] Tom Smith, "What Happens If We Lose Dues Check
Off?" Labor Notes, March 30, 2011

For a good account of a state university faculty union
campaign to build membership in open shop Florida, see
Paul Ortiz, "An Organizing Drive that Doubled the
Union," Labor Notes. July. 2011.

[15] For a good case study in private sector union dues
collection in the absence of check off, see David
Cohen, "Hand Collecting and Thriving," Labor Notes,

[16] William Rogers, "Collective bargaining loss not
necessarily the end to voice on the job," Left Labor
Reporter, May 2, 2011.

In addition to backing TSEU, CWA has also supported
3,000 member Mississippi Alliance State Employees
(MASE) for the last 22 years. For more on MASE's
"non-majority union" representation of state, country,
municipal employees, see:

[17] See Frank Emspak, "The Wisconsin Uprising" in
Wisconsin Uprising: Labor Fights Back, edited by
Michael Yates, Monthly Review Press, 2012.

[18] Jane Slaughter, "Wisconsin Reacts as Anti-Union
Bill is Rubber-Stamped," Labor Notes, June 17, 2011.

[19] See Theresa Moran, "New Rules for Wisconsin
Unions: No Rules," Labor Notes, February, 2012

[20] Mike Elk, "The Good News in Wisconsin That The
Media Isn't Reporting," Working In These Times, June 7,

[21] "Stanley Aronowitz, "One, Two, Many Madisons: The
War on Public Sector Workers," New Labor Forum, Spring,
2011, page 20.


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