Union membership shrinking in the U.S.

GierachUnionUnion membership of wage and salary workers in the U.S. fell to 11.3 percent last year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Back in 1981, over 20 percent of wage and salary workers were part of unions. The Chicago Tribune reported a story on the shrinking union membership rates.

The latest numbers are a result of political action and corporate negotiations. An old-time union stronghold, Michigan, became a right-to-work state last year, which means that members are not required to pay dues to unions as a condition of employment. In other states, the power of public employee unions has been reduced by state governments.

According to William Spriggs, chief economist of the AFL-CIO, “This is part of this fight that we’ve been seeing where business and political allies of business are continuing to go after the rights of Americans to join unions.”

The public sector still holds a high percentage of unionized workers, with about 36 percent of their employees in unions.

Union membership is much higher among older workers, with only 10.7 percent of workers between the ages 25 and 34 in unions, as opposed to 15.4 percent of workers aged 45 to 54. Workers aged 55 to 64 are even more unionized, with 16.4 percent of workers in unions.

One of the things that unions assist their members in is employment law. For the majority of Americans, the way to proceed with an employment law issue is to contact a business law attorney in your area. Our Naperville, Illinois business attorneys handle employment law cases, as well as other business law cases. So if you need help with a business law issue, contact our offices for a consultation as soon as possible.