As organized labor braces for a Supreme Court ruling that could make it easy for public-sector workers to stop paying some dues, unions across the country are reaching out to hundreds of thousands of members to persuade them to keep paying dues.
The Service Employees International Union has sent text messages to 800,000 members as part of a program that includes meeting with workers and sending mailers to homes.
“We have a goal of speaking to every union member and getting them to recommit to the union,” said Mary Kay Henry, president of SEIU. Roughly half of its two million members are public-sector workers, she said.
At the same time, conservative groups in Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania are alerting workers how to opt out of paying dues. They are gathering the names and addresses of tens of thousands of state and local workers through public-records requests. The goal is a political-style campaign using direct mail, phone calls and home visits.