An opinion piece in today’s Wall Street Journal correctly points at some of the reasons for union leaders to resort to legislative lobbying efforts under the Employee Free Choice Act in order to attract new members, instead of recruiting them without the government’s help:

Labor is desperate to rig the bargaining rules because most workers show time and again that they don’t want a union. Americans know unions promise higher wages and benefits and more job security. But workers can also see what has happened to such highly unionized industries as steel, autos, airlines and many others. Unions couldn’t save those jobs, and in fact they contributed to their demise with contracts that made the industries uncompetitive. Most workers would also rather not hand over a chunk of their paycheck in mandatory dues to finance the political agenda of labor leaders.

The New York Times article I blogged about last week (EFCA: The Battle Is Not Over Yet) made a similar argument:

Labor unions have pushed aggressively to enact the bill – formally, the Employee Free Choice Act. They view it as essential to reverse labor’s long decline. Just 7.6 percent of private-sector workers belong to unions, one-fifth the rate of a half-century ago.

In the market economy, declining sales signal that a business is not providing its customers with the value they seek. The same applies in the case of unions, where decreasing membership numbers signal that the affected organizations are not  providing the services that workers value. Unions should refocus their efforts on what workers really want if they want to stay in business.