Union Membership Increases (1/27)


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The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on Jan. 24 issued its annual report on union membership in the United States, and the figures for 2013 reflect an overall increase of 162,000 members compared with 2012. In 2013, the union membership rate (the percent of wage and salary workers who were members of unions) was 11.3 percent, and the number of workers belonging to unions was 14.5 million


The AFL-CIO, to which the SIU is affiliated, pointed out the net gain was “led by an increase of 281,000 workers in private-sector unions…. But destructive, politically motivated layoffs of public-sector workers continued to hurt overall public-sector union membership, leaving the total percentage of the workforce that is unionized virtually unchanged.”


The BLS report showed that union members once again on average earn more money and enjoy better benefits than unrepresented workers. The agency’s news release may be accessed by clicking HERE


The AFL-CIO’s statement is available HERE, and the Department of Labor’s release is available HERE

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka stated, “Wall Street’s Great Recession cost millions of America’s workers their jobs and pushed already depressed wages down even further. But in 2013, America’s workers pushed back. At the same time, these numbers show that as unorganized workers have taken up the fight for their right to a voice on the job, union employers are hiring—creating good jobs our economy desperately needs.”


Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez said, “Workers’ ability to form unions and engage in collective bargaining has been a cornerstone of a strong middle class. The decline in union membership over the last few decades has contributed to more working families struggling to get by. When workers have a seat at the table, they are better able to bargain for their fair share of the value they helped create; and that leads to greater economic security and economic mobility for everyone. As our economy continues to recover and we work to create good jobs, we need to ensure workers can lift their voices to raise wages, reduce inequality and help more people climb ladders of opportunity.”




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