Of the nearly 700,000 private-sector employees who joined a union in the past decade, almost two-thirds were unionized in shops with fewer than 250 workers.
This is an important figure because it highlights one of the primary strategies of labor unions for the new age; that is, smaller units. In the past, unions found their most success in organizing huge groups. Now, the focus on micro units is strong. And in many cases, it’s working. In fact, “in the typical small-unit election, unions win 80 percent of the “yes” vote. For larger units, this number drops to under 60 percent.”
So what’s changed? One thing that we know hasn’t is that unions need money, thus their historic focus on larger units - more people, more money. But today, social media and online organizing have streamlined the process of reaching ‘more people’ and allows unions to market ‘big data’ aimed at peaking the interest of those in smaller workplaces, or at least those whose titles fall under a micro unit.
Technology has given rise to a new set of tools—targeted ads to reach disillusioned workers, text blasts to engage them, online petitions to make demands clear.