Union Membership Dips To 8.1 Percent In Wisconsin
University of Wisconsin-Madison economics professor Steven Deller said one reason is fewer manufacturing jobs, both in the United States and Wisconsin.
"A lot of our employment, we're moving away from large-scale manufacturing so the role that unions have traditionally played has fundamentally changed," he said.
The bigger impact came from state laws affecting unions.
"So in all those ways I don’t think you see a lot of signals that would suggest that trend would turn around," she said.
In 2011, state Republicans passed Act 10, a law that restricted collective bargaining for public workers. In 2015, they passed so-called right-to-work legislation. It prohibits companies and unions from having contracts that require workers to pay dues.
Wisconsin had 219,000 union workers in 2016, representing 8.1 percent of the workforce. But the drop wasn't as big in 2016 as it was the year before. That's when Wisconsin lost 83,000 union members – the largest drop in the country.
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