It’s no big secret that in the grand scheme of things union membership is dying out. Over the past 45 years there has been a steady decline from 1 in 5 U.S. workers being unionized to just over 1 in 10. But just because unions are on the decline doesn’t mean their authority has entirely diminished. Click here for a deep dive into why this might be the case, as well as run-through of the 14 cities with the strongest unions today. Some are more surprising than you might guess.
With the percentage of union members in the private sector falling to 6.7%, almost half of all union members hold jobs in the public sector – where there is no competition! And, according to the NLRB and U.S. Census Bureau data, less than 10 percent of union employees nationwide voted for the union currently “representing” them. As an example, a recent report from Pennsylvania found that just 1 percent of Pennsylvania’s state employees — including police officers, firefighters and teachers — ever had a chance to vote for their union.
In spite of the general workforce’s tendancy to avoid unions when given the choice, misguided politicians are still doing their best to force people into them, whether or not they have to ignore or break the law to do so, as this recent case in Seattle illustrates.
It appears West Virginia will become the 26th state to pass Right-to-Work legislation. Although expecting a veto from Governor Tomblin, a simple majority is all that is needed to override, and the bill passed by a vote of 54-46.
In the run up to the vote, the AFL-CIO attempted to make the tired argument that union workplaces are safer. Unfortunately, the statistics are against Big Labor on this point, and indicate that in states where Right-to-Work laws have been recently passed, nonfatal occupational injury rates have declined. Not only that, but in many cases right-to-work states are statistically safer than forced unionization states.
In Alabama – already a right-to-work state – legislators are working to add an amendment to the state’s constitution that would declare the state as a right-to-work state. Unions
Continue reading West Virginia To Join Ranks Of Right-To-Work States
by Phil Wilson
The Real Impact of Ambush Elections
In just a couple of months we will have one year of experience under the NLRB’s ambush election rule making. This is one of the most significant changes in US labor law since… Ever. It has slashed the amount of time employees have to consider their decision about whether or not to choose representation. More important, it has fundamentally altered how decisions about who is included (and excluded) from bargaining are made.
But what are the actual “on the ground” differences? Let me start with the latest statistics. First, number of days till an election. Here is what has happened since the rule went into effect:
You can see from the chart, election periods are substantially faster since the rule went into
Continue reading Labor Relations Insight
According to a recent Gallup poll, support for labor unions is at its highest point in the last 7 years, and up 10 points from its all-time low in 2009 of 48% approval.
It also seems folks would like unions to have a bit more influence, although barely over a third of the population falls into this category.
Here’s how Gallup interprets the results:
With the economy continuing to do better than it did during the recession and the 2008 government bailout of two of the Big Three American auto companies — for which unions’
Continue reading Growing Support for Unions
What the SEIU Numbers Could Really Mean For You
The 2012 numbers are in, and they don’t look good for SEIU. Earlier this month the SEIU mothership filed its annual LM-2 financial report with the Department of Labor, and there’s little there for the purple army to celebrate. Membership is down by 45,000 with an even larger membership loss likely in 2013. And for the second straight year the union has run deep in the red with revenue falling $42 million short of what SEIU spent last year. But pay attention — all that bad news for SEIU might be masking growing trouble for SEIU targeted employers.
Back in the halcyon days of Andy Stern, SEIU self-described as the world’s “largest, strongest, fastest growing union,” claiming 2.2 million members in 2010. (Although the union reported only 1.9 million members to the feds that year.) Even without the fuzzy purple math,
Continue reading SEIU Watch