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Top Unions Lost Nearly Quarter of a Million Members After Court Struck Down Mandatory Membership

by Patrick Hauf


The nation’s four largest government unions lost more than 200,000 members after the Supreme Court ruled that public sector workers could opt out of union membership, according to a report released Wednesday.

In the four years since the landmark Janus v. AFSCME ruling, the National Education Association, American Federation of Teachers, Service Employees International Union, and American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees lost almost 219,000 union members. The report, published by the Commonwealth Foundation, found that the Supreme Court decision escalated a decades-long decline in dues-paying members at the public sector unions.

Despite the drop in membership, labor groups have scored legal and political victories that are buoying their political power. Union bosses scored a major victory last year in Virginia, where they attained collective bargaining rights for government workers for the first time through the then-Democratic-controlled state house. The Missouri Supreme Court last year voided a law that would have required unions to have regular recertification votes and annual reports on political activity. Colorado, meanwhile, passed a law in 2020 that unionized its 30,000 state government employees…


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