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Wed Oct 9, 2019, 01:31 PM

Already under siege, labor unions face a new threat from Alaska

ANCHORAGE — For decades, Alaska has been a stronghold for organized labor, boasting one of the nation’s highest union participation rates even as membership rolls declined across the United States in the face of broad economic shifts and sustained ideological attack.

Now, a conservative new governor, Mike Dunleavy, is trying to push through a plan that could hobble Alaska’s public sector unions — and put the state on the leading edge of a fight over the collective bargaining power of teachers, police officers and other civil servants.

Under a recent administrative order, the governor proposes to halt payroll deductions for union dues and require state workers to go through a cumbersome, multi-step process to restore that option.

Mr. Dunleavy, 58, a former teacher and state senator, had already established himself as a close ally of President Trump and national conservative leaders, drawing praise for his proposals to slash the state budget and veto funds for the Alaska Supreme Court after a decision that upheld abortion access.


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