button Vol. 5 No. 2
Summer 1999

line INSIDE line

E-mail -
the 'Wild Wild West' of Today's Workplace
line NLRB ruling
- a portent of things to come?
line How To Increase The Value
Of Your Companies Reward Investment
line Updates on Union Activities
line Reminder: Worker Safety Rules Updated
line Work Transformation and Managing Change - book reviews by Robert Braun line Briefs

Braun Consulting News
News on Personnel, Labor Relations and Benefits

See our Archive Pages for Back Issues of Braun Consulting News!

button Updates on Union Activities

Numbers are up... but not enough for Union organizers

The number of U.S. workers belonging to unions grew for the first time in five years in 1998, but the percentage of overall workers belonging to unions continued to decline, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In 1998 AFL-CIO unions organized a record 475,000 new workers, with 33 unions growing in size. However average membership in the AFL-CIO was only up 65,000 over the average membership for 1997. Union members' ranks increased by 101,000 in 1998 to 16.2 million - 13.9 % of all wage and salary workers. (BLS statistics)

Commenting on these statistics earlier this year federation President John Sweeney noted that the growing number of unorganized workers presents a serious, urgent challenge for labor, and that "no one said we would double our membership overnight". He noted that the labor movement needs strategies for faster development... not stating what those might be.

Kirk Adams, the federation's organizing director, said employer resistance to organizing is growing, and labor needs to address that issue before it can grow at the pace and scale that it needs.

Union membership has remained relatively steady since 1945, but the workforce has been expanding at a faster rate. Among private industries, the transportation and public utilities sector has the highest union membership rate (25.8 percent). Construction was next (17.8 percent), followed by manufacturing (15.8 percent) and mining (12.2 percent).

Check back with Braun Consulting News to follow up on any new organizing activities or other news relating to unions and union organizing activities.

Reminder: Worker Safety Rules UpdatedNext Page

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