Unions are getting creative in their attempt to stem their declining membership roles. While they still have not made inroads in some of their recent high-profile targets, such as big box retail stores and fast food restaurants, they have found some new blood in some interesting places.
A handful of notable digital media companies succumbed to organizing pressure last year. Although print newspapers have been churning out union members for decades, the move into the world of online media is recent.
Tech company shuttle drives in the San Francisco Bay area and bike share companies across the country have begun to migrate into the union fold as well. Although small, these first three groups all represent the young, hip and tech savvy. The trend might be worth paying attention to.
Security guards, especially from independent contractors, have also been a big boon for unions, particularly the SEIU, which has added 50,000 guards to its roles since 2003.
Lastly, colleges and universities are continuing to contribute to the ranks of union members. SEIU alone has gained another 10,000 members over the last three years, and the UAW has gotten in on the act, going after teaching assistants and resident advisors. Once limited to public universities, private campuses are now under assault as well.