by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
One year after the Supreme Court ruling in Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees that was supposed to decimate public sector unions, organized labor appear to have absorbed the blow better than expected.
The ruling said that public sector workers could not be forced to join or otherwise financially support a union if they didn’t want to, ending a common feature of union public sector contracts. Conservatives predicted that the 5-4 decision, written by Justice Samuel Alito, would be a major financial blow to the labor movement. …
… But unions have responded by putting an increased effort into recruiting and retaining members. They’ve also pushed friendly statehouses to pass measures that effectively circumvent the Janus ruling by limiting the ways that workers can opt out. And in many cases, union members aren’t even aware of their rights under Janus, as unions haven’t promoted them.
The main public sector unions have not reported large membership losses in the year since the ruling came out. AFSCME, the defendant in the case, reported in March that its membership was 1.3 million, up by 27,000 from last year, according to a Labor Department filing.