The long, slow decline in the number of American workers belonging to labor unions accelerated sharply last year, according to data reported on Wednesday, sending the unionization rate to its lowest level in a century.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics said the total number of union members fell by 400,000 last year even though the nation’s overall employment rose by 2.4 million nationwide last year. The percentage of workers in unions fell to 11.3 percent, down from 11.8 percent in 2011, the bureau found in its annual report on union membership. That brought unionization to its lowest level since 1912, when it was 11.1 percent, according to a study by two Rutgers economists, Leo Troy and Neil Sheflin.
There were several reasons for the steep one-year decline in union membership, according to labor experts. Most prominent were new laws that capped the power of unions in Wisconsin, Indiana and other states. But the continued expansion by manufacturers like Caterpillar and Boeing in non-union states, and the growth of sectors like retail and restaurants, where unions have little presence, also contributed.
“These numbers are very discouraging for labor unions,” said Gary Chaison, a professor of industrial relations at Clark University. “It’s a time for unions to stop being clever about excuses for why membership is declining, and it’s time to figure out how to devise appeals to the workers out there.”
Labor unions have boasted of their political successes in helping to re-elect President Obama and helping Democrats to pick up seats in the House and the Senate.
But the figures announced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics point to grave problems for the future of organized labor. The portion of private-sector workers in unions fell to just 6.6 percent last year, from 6.9 percent in 2011, causing some labor experts to question whether unions are sinking toward irrelevance in the private sector.THE ONLY REASON THERE ARE GOVERNMENT WORKERS UNIONS IS THAT THE UNIONS PAYOFF POLITICIANS.
IF WE WANT CLEANER, LEANER GOVERNMENT - AT EVERY LEVEL - THEN WE NEED TO DEMOLISH THE POLITICIAN-GOVERNMENT UNION COMPLEX.
OF COURSE; THE GOVERNMENT WORKER'S UNIONS GIVER MUCH MORE TIO THE DEMOCRAT PARTY, SO DEMOLISHING THEM WILL BE DIFFICULT.
BUT IT IS ESSENTIAL IF WE'RE GOING TO MAKE OUR GOVERNMENT MORE HONEST AND MORE AFFORDABLE.
TO DO THIS WE NEED TO FOLLOW SCOTT WALKER'S LEAD AND ROLLBACK GOVERNMENT UNION POWER AND ALSO MAKE EVERY STATE A RIGHT-TO-WORK STATE.