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Thread: Unions Suffer Steep Decline in Membership

  1. #1
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    Unions Suffer Steep Decline in Membership

    Unions suffer steep decline in membership

    Published January 23, 2013

    Associated Press

    The nation's labor unions suffered sharp declines in membership last year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Wednesday, led by losses in the public sector as cash-strapped state and local governments laid off workers and -- in some cases -- limited collective bargaining rights.

    The union membership rate fell from 11.8 percent to 11.3 percent of all workers, the lowest level since the 1930s.

    Total membership fell by about 400,000 workers to 14.4 million. More than half the loss -- about 234,000 -- came from government workers including teachers, firefighters and public administrators.

    The losses add another blow to a labor movement already stretched thin by fighting efforts in states like Wisconsin, Indiana and Michigan to curb bargaining rights and weaken union clout.

    But unions also saw losses in the private sector, even as the economy expanded modestly. That rate fell of membership fell from 6.9 percent to 6.6 percent, a troubling sign for the future of organized labor, as job growth has generally taken place at nonunion firms.

    "To employers, it's going to look like the labor movement is ready for a knockout punch," said Gary Chaison, professor of industrial relations at Clark University in Worcester, Mass. "You can't be a movement and get smaller."

    Unions have steadily lost members since their peak in the 1950s, when about one of every three workers was in a union. By 1983, roughly 20 percent of American workers were union members.

    Losses in the public sector are hitting unions particularly hard since that has been one of the few areas where membership was growing over the past two decades. About 51 percent of union members work in government, where until recently, there had been little resistance to union organizing.

    That began to change when Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed a law in 2011 eliminating most union rights for government workers. The state lost about 46,000 union members last year, mostly in the public sector.

    Union officials blame losses on the lingering effects of the recession, as well as GOP governors and state lawmakers who have sought to weaken union rights.

    "Our still-struggling economy, weak laws and political as well as ideological assaults have taken a toll on union membership, and in the process have also imperiled economic security and good, middle class jobs," said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.

    In Indiana, where a new right-to-work law took effect last March, the state lost about 56,000 union members. The law prohibits unions from requiring workers to pay union fees, even if they benefit from a collective bargaining agreement. Michigan lawmakers approved a similar measure in December.

    Another problem for unions is an aging membership that is not being replaced by younger members. By age, the union membership rate was highest among workers ages 55 to 64 (14.9 percent) and lowest among those ages 16 to 24 (4.2 percent).

    In New York, the state with the highest union density, nearly one-quarter of the workforce belonged to a union. North Carolina had the lowest at 2.9 percent.

    Among full-time wage and salary workers, union members in 2012 had median weekly earnings of $943, while those who were not union members earned $742.
    Barely 11% of Americans are now in a Union.

    If Unions are as good as members claim, and as vital to workers rights as many claim, why then do you think that only one in 10 American workers now work within a Union, and of that many still in Unions that require memebrship to work in a particular field?

    I.e. Why is Union membership 11%, and not 90%? The exception, not the rule?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Warfish View Post
    Barely 11% of Americans are now in a Union.

    If Unions are as good as members claim, and as vital to workers rights as many claim, why then do you think that only one in 10 American workers now work within a Union, and of that many still in Unions that require memebrship to work in a particular field?

    I.e. Why is Union membership 11%, and not 90%? The exception, not the rule?
    Because billionaire businessmen disguised as politicaians for the people become leaders, poison the public through the media into believing that little things like health benefits and job security are bad for them and the country, then change the laws to break up unions to benefit themselves when they go back into the business world after they "retire" from politics.

    Every school bus driver in NYC would be out of a job it werent for their union right now. Mayor Bloomberg would fire them and their $38,000 a year job (top pay) before any wastful administrative position under his watch. Going after workers making 38k when stealing millions and tripling his overall wealth during his time as mayor?

    America wouldnt need unions if there were no crooked politicians.

    Rockefeller, Carnegie, JP Morgan, Tweed / Christie, Bush, Obama, Bloomberg

    No difference

    For the few bad apples that unions protect, there would be thousands out of work all to move the money into the politicians pockets rather than the peoples' if it werent unions

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    Quote Originally Posted by copernicus View Post
    For the few bad apples that unions protect, there would be thousands out of work all to move the money into the politicians pockets rather than the peoples' if it werent unions
    Honest question -- if someone lost their job, wouldn't someone else get it?

    Or if the job was just eliminated, wouldn't that imply it was never necessary to begin with?

    Ultimately politicians are at the mercy of the voting public. If they make "selfish" decisions, they should be voted out. But just because they're making unpopular decisions doesn't necessarily mean they're the wrong ones . . .

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    Quote Originally Posted by OCCH View Post
    Honest question -- if someone lost their job, wouldn't someone else get it?

    Or if the job was just eliminated, wouldn't that imply it was never necessary to begin with?

    Ultimately politicians are at the mercy of the voting public. If they make "selfish" decisions, they should be voted out. But just because they're making unpopular decisions doesn't necessarily mean they're the wrong ones . . .

    Yeah, the NYC school bus driver loses his top paying job at $38 thousand where he and his wife struggle but figure out a way to survive paying rent and feeding kids and is replaced by a single 23 year old who will now make $20, 000. Now society pays unemployment to the guy who was making 38 and that extra money (across the board) goes to fat jobs created by politicians for their friends.

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    Everyone got that? The 90% of us that are non-union only are non-union because we're brainwashed by billionaires.

    We're in fact slaves

    Can't make this stuff up

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    Quote Originally Posted by Warfish View Post
    Barely 11% of Americans are now in a Union.

    If Unions are as good as members claim, and as vital to workers rights as many claim, why then do you think that only one in 10 American workers now work within a Union, and of that many still in Unions that require memebrship to work in a particular field?

    I.e. Why is Union membership 11%, and not 90%? The exception, not the rule?
    Honestly though, do those 90 percent have the option to join a union or has that been taken away at this point?

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    Quote Originally Posted by copernicus View Post
    Because billionaire businessmen disguised as politicaians for the people become leaders, poison the public through the media into believing that little things like health benefits and job security are bad for them and the country, then change the laws to break up unions to benefit themselves when they go back into the business world after they "retire" from politics.

    Every school bus driver in NYC would be out of a job it werent for their union right now. Mayor Bloomberg would fire them and their $38,000 a year job (top pay) before any wastful administrative position under his watch. Going after workers making 38k when stealing millions and tripling his overall wealth during his time as mayor?

    America wouldnt need unions if there were no crooked politicians.

    Rockefeller, Carnegie, JP Morgan, Tweed / Christie, Bush, Obama, Bloomberg

    No difference

    For the few bad apples that unions protect, there would be thousands out of work all to move the money into the politicians pockets rather than the peoples' if it werent unions
    You do realize there is no great and powerful "America" without the likes of Rockefeller, Carnegie, JP Morgan etc...just saying it works both ways.
    Last edited by HessStation; 01-23-2013 at 09:23 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JetPotato View Post
    Everyone got that? The 90% of us that are non-union only are non-union because we're brainwashed by billionaires.

    We're in fact slaves

    Can't make this stuff up
    Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell.

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    Quote Originally Posted by copernicus View Post
    Yeah, the NYC school bus driver loses his top paying job at $38 thousand where he and his wife struggle but figure out a way to survive paying rent and feeding kids and is replaced by a single 23 year old who will now make $20, 000. Now society pays unemployment to the guy who was making 38 and that extra money (across the board) goes to fat jobs created by politicians for their friends.
    You forgot the part about politicians and their fatcat friends giving themselves insane tax cuts and loopholes so most of that revenue stream ends up in savings accounts instead of back in government paying off the deficit - then blame the unemployed bus driver for being the "47%". Reagonomics 101

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    Quote Originally Posted by Warfish View Post
    Barely 11% of Americans are now in a Union.

    If Unions are as good as members claim, and as vital to workers rights as many claim, why then do you think that only one in 10 American workers now work within a Union, and of that many still in Unions that require memebrship to work in a particular field?

    I.e. Why is Union membership 11%, and not 90%? The exception, not the rule?
    I dunno if having health insurance is so great why do 40+ million Americans not have it?

    Using your logic captain strawfish. Having health insurance must suck.

    The real question this article leads to is:



    If only 11.3% of working Americans are in unions why is so much credence given to the GOP argument that unions are ruining America?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buster View Post
    I dunno if having health insurance is so great why do 40+ million Americans not have it?

    Using your logic captain strawfish. Having health insurance must suck.

    The real question this article leads to is:



    If only 11.3% of working Americans are in unions why is so much credence given to the GOP argument that unions are ruining America?
    Bingo!

    Remember we were fed that the unions are one of the causes of our current economic mess. That is what the governors who severely limited collective bargaining told us. The reality is that the country has traded one powerful special interest group (unions) for another (corporate lobbyists). So an alleged democracy that was once manipulated and controlled by the money of unions is now manipulated and controlled by corporate America.

    As to your question as to why so much credence is given to the GOP argument that unions are ruining America, its simple; since corporate America also owns the media, the sheeple follow the shepherds and say in unison; "bahhh, the unions are destroying the economy today, bahhhh", while at the same ExxonMobile just bought another politician. That is why many of the same posters here who rail against the influence of the unions (a special interest that once owned much of the government) can't comprehend the idea that corporate interests are now doing the EXACT same thing.

    Last edited by intelligentjetsfan; 01-24-2013 at 05:36 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by intelligentjetsfan View Post
    Bingo!

    Remember we were fed that the unions are one of the causes of our current economic mess. That is what the governors who severely limited collective bargaining told us. The reality is that the country has traded one powerful special interest group (unions) for another (corporate lobbyists). So an alleged democracy that was once manipulated and controlled by the money of unions is now manipulated and controlled by corporate America.

    As to your question as to why so much credence is given to the GOP argument that unions are ruining America, its simple; since corporate America also owns the media, the sheeple follow the shepherds and say in unison; "bahhh, the unions are destroying the economy today, bahhhh", while at the same ExxonMobile just bought another politician. That is why many of the same posters here who rail against the influence of the unions (a special interest that once owned much of the government) can't comprehend the idea that corporate interests are now doing the EXACT same thing.

    Unions are fine as long as the demand they put on business can be met.
    Realistically, very few private businesses have unions because they would go under. Hostess for example, much of the auto industry is now non union and on and on.

    Unions still continue strong only in the public sector mainly because the buyer has no choice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by intelligentjetsfan View Post
    Bingo!

    Remember we were fed that the unions are one of the causes of our current economic mess. That is what the governors who severely limited collective bargaining told us. The reality is that the country has traded one powerful special interest group (unions) for another (corporate lobbyists). So an alleged democracy that was once manipulated and controlled by the money of unions is now manipulated and controlled by corporate America.

    As to your question as to why so much credence is given to the GOP argument that unions are ruining America, its simple; since corporate America also owns the media, the sheeple follow the shepherds and say in unison; "bahhh, the unions are destroying the economy today, bahhhh", while at the same ExxonMobile just bought another politician. That is why many of the same posters here who rail against the influence of the unions (a special interest that once owned much of the government) can't comprehend the idea that corporate interests are now doing the EXACT same thing.

    Love how you conveniently dismiss the facts of Wisconsin : for example, it enabled the hiring if more teachers

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buster View Post
    I dunno if having health insurance is so great why do 40+ million Americans not have it?

    Using your logic captain strawfish. Having health insurance must suck.

    The real question this article leads to is:



    If only 11.3% of working Americans are in unions why is so much credence given to the GOP argument that unions are ruining America?
    What a bizarre world one lives in when you believe that purchasing health insurance is comparable to the demand of union labor

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buster View Post

    If only 11.3% of working Americans are in unions why is so much credence given to the GOP argument that unions are ruining America?
    Because they are lying

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    Quote Originally Posted by FF2 View Post
    Honestly though, do those 90 percent have the option to join a union or has that been taken away at this point?
    In the spirit of the nostalgia and peace I've been riffing hard on since yesterday, I've taken you off ignore for a moment to reply. I hope I'm not making a mistake.

    I am not aware of any laws that bar workers in the private sector from Unionizing. If you are, please cite them if you can, as I'd like to read over them. Here in VA, a "right to work" state, we are not barred from Unionizing (I in fact worked at one point in a Union in my younger days), but they are simpyl not widespread here outside a few blocks of "traditional" Union labor, teachers, plumbers, etc.

    So no, to the best of my knowledge, the 90% choose to not Unionize or join Unions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buster View Post
    I dunno if having health insurance is so great why do 40+ million Americans not have it?
    First, your figure of 40 million is very questionable.

    That number includes those who choose not to have it of their own free will (young, rich, etc). It includes illegal aliens who use the emergency system instead, cost free. And it includes the poor who are ignorant of the coverage they could have if they simply used existing social support programs.

    So, with that said, 40 million (of 330 million Americans) is ~12%. 12% do not have insurance, about the same as are members of Unions.

    Using your logic captain strawfish. Having health insurance must suck.
    Not in the least, nor have I said being a member of a Union "sucks". I certainly have issues with Unions, but I value the role they played in the past when the balance between labor and employer was different than today. We can agree to disagree on that balance today, and the role Unions play in it.

    If only 11.3% of working Americans are in unions why is so much credence given to the GOP argument that unions are ruining America?
    Likely because the % of Public Employees in Govt. in Unions is much higher than 11%, although I have no source at hand to give the actual number. You'll note that recent GOP activity against Unions has been almost exclusively against Public Service (i.e. Govt. Employee) Unions for whom the "employer" is often a Politician who recieves fiscal support fromt he Unions they then have power over helping come contract negotiation time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Warfish View Post
    In the spirit of the nostalgia and peace I've been riffing hard on since yesterday, I've taken you off ignore for a moment to reply. I hope I'm not making a mistake.

    I am not aware of any laws that bar workers in the private sector from Unionizing. If you are, please cite them if you can, as I'd like to read over them. Here in VA, a "right to work" state, we are not barred from Unionizing (I in fact worked at one point in a Union in my younger days), but they are simpyl not widespread here outside a few blocks of "traditional" Union labor, teachers, plumbers, etc.

    So no, to the best of my knowledge, the 90% choose to not Unionize or join Unions.
    It's one thing to have the right to unionize, it's another to have a realistic chance of doing so.

    Tell what you think would realistically happen if the employees of WalMart tried to unionize.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FF2 View Post
    It's one thing to have the right to unionize, it's another to have a realistic chance of doing so.

    Tell what you think would realistically happen if the employees of WalMart tried to unionize.
    What's so hard to understand about the fact that as long as there's someone out there who not only can replace you, but would love to have that chance, then you're not in a position to ask for more?

    Want to know the real reason unions are dying? It's because you keep enabling these idiot control freak politicians whose crap economic policies and social engineering experiments put more people who can replace you out of work. they're decreasing your leverage. Destroying yourselves, making them richer, and they've convinced you to blame some other people.

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    another lib lousy puke-ffilled thread

    walmart employees reject unionization because they know they will lose benefits and stores will close

    union membership is down but their consumption of tax $ has increased exponentially and disproportionally, in a severe recession taxes did not decrease and public sector compensation dependent on them increased

    Between December 2007 and December 2009, the private sector lost more than 7 million jobs, yet the number of government jobs increased by about 100,000, with all that "stimulus" waste paying for them - the entire burden of job losses during the recession fell on the private sector alone

    productivity, accountability in the public sector-fuhgeddaboudit

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