Workplace Labor Unions

1289 Words6 Pages
Introduction: In the United States, labor unions are recognized as a representation for the workers in many industries. The most common unions are seen in the public sector for employees such as teachers and the police. Presently, labor union activities focus on collective bargaining for wages, compensation, benefits and working conditions for their members and representing the workers in cases of contract violation. In 1950s, labor union memberships were at a peak and over time, even though labor unions remain a political factor, they are present due to involving themselves in issues such as trade policies, health care, immigrant (immigration) rights. Unions began formation sometime around the 19th century. There were many unions that were…show more content…
In 2007, the labor department recorded their largest increase in membership in 25 years, since 1979. Many of the recent memberships have been in the service industry and there has been a decline in the manufacturing industry. In the 1940s, union density statistics were as follows: Public employees represented by unions – 9.8%, 33.9% in the private/non-agricultural section. In the last 10 years, the percentages have flipped to: 36% of the public sector represented by unions and 6.89% of the private sector represented by the unions. In 2007, the private sector density rose to 7.7%, but declined in 2009 to a low of…show more content…
Today, almost 12% of the workforce is included in the union membership ranks. This number is significantly lower than the number in 1956 (when union membership was at its peak). One of the main reasons for a decline in the membership, especially in the manufacturing sector (also known as the hub of the labor movement, back in the day) is because of the fact that many manufacturers are having to shut down due to downsizing and outsourcing. Almost 150,000 jobs were lost to foreign markets. A growing international competition has also impacted union importance amongst the industries. Product oriented markets were deeply impacted by the competition brought on by international counterparts. Inadequate wage adjustments and demands have accelerated the decline. Almost 66% Americans feel that unions do not benefit the economy, but in turn, hurt the economy, especially during an economic crisis. As of August 2008, labor union approval was at 38% and it fell to 25% in August 2009. During the same time, 39% Americans felt that unions hurt companies in 2008 and that number rose to 48% in

More about Workplace Labor Unions

Open Document