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  1. #1

    Unions suffer sharp decline in membership

    http://news.yahoo.com/unions-suffer-...161051448.html

    Union membership plummeted last year to the lowest level since the 1930s as cash-strapped state and local governments shed workers and unions had difficulty organizing new members in the private sector despite signs of an improving economy.

    Government figures released Wednesday showed union membership declined from 11.8 percent to 11.3 percent of the workforce, another blow to a labor movement already stretched thin by battles in Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan and other states to curb bargaining rights and weaken union clout.

    Overall membership fell by about 400,000 workers to 14.4 million, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. More than half the loss, about 234,000, came from government workers, including teachers, firefighters and public administrators.

    But unions also saw losses in the private sector even as the economy created 1.8 million new jobs in 2012. That membership rate fell from 6.9 percent to 6.6 percent, a troubling sign for the future of organized labor, as job growth generally has taken place at nonunion companies.

    "To employers, it's going to look like the labor movement is ready for a knockout punch," said Gary Chaison, professor of industrial relations at Clark University in Worcester, Mass. "You can't be a movement and get smaller."

    Despite the steady membership decline, unions remain a potent political force because of the money they spend helping union-friendly candidates seeking public office. Unions spent more than $400 million during the 2012 election cycle to support President Barack Obama's re-election, keep a Democratic majority in the Senate and aid other state and local candidates.

    Dwindling membership means unions carry far less influence than they used to in setting a benchmark for wages and benefits that might be followed at nonunion companies. Unions are already gearing up to defeat Republican governors in Ohio, Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, where they fear more anti-union measures could crop up soon.

    Another problem for unions is an aging membership that is not being replaced by younger members. By age, the union membership rate was highest among workers age 55 to 64 (14.9 percent) and lowest among those 16 to 24 (4.2 percent).

    In New York, the state with the highest union density, nearly one-quarter of the workforce belonged to a union. North Carolina had the lowest at 2.9 percent.

    Among full-time wage and salary workers, union members in 2012 had median weekly earnings of $943, while those who were not union members earned $742.
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  2. #2
    This is really sad news. What's going to happen is business realize that and will only treat their employees worse. Employee morale and production will decrease which will lead to sub par products and services and business will raise the cost of things to because the will be losing money on productivity not to mention having to keep retraining new employees because of the high employee turnover.
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  3. #3
    Quelle Surprise. There are no more labour jobs in the USA, hence shrinking unions. A person with an incomplete Circle of Willis knows this.

  4. #4
    From the article:
    "Among full-time wage and salary workers, union members in 2012 had median weekly earnings of $943, while those who were not union members earned $742."

    And there you have it. Feel free to cut and paste that into each and every union debate that crops up on here. That small sentence perfectly exemplifies
    a) why workers (regardless of party affiliation) should support unions
    b) why business owners hate unions

    it all boils down to $200 a week in your pocket
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  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by matt_curren View Post
    From the article:
    "Among full-time wage and salary workers, union members in 2012 had median weekly earnings of $943, while those who were not union members earned $742."

    And there you have it. Feel free to cut and paste that into each and every union debate that crops up on here. That small sentence perfectly exemplifies
    a) why workers (regardless of party affiliation) should support unions
    b) why business owners hate unions

    it all boils down to $200 a week in your pocket
    and then that all goes into the gov'ts pocket because the politicians that support unions also support raising taxes. It really isnt that simple. Not to mention the run away spending that liberals also support which causes inflation that amount to hidden taxes on all other expenses. Add into that, the high unemployment because Obama cant get a budget and the uncertainty that goes along with that causes unemployment. I would rather be non union making 742, then unemployed while union workers make 943, well except for hostess. they lost there jobs. Plus the drastic downfall in union members. It really isnt that simple. Wish it was though.
    Cant work that equation without figuring in outsourcing, unemployment and inflation, sorry.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by indexed View Post
    and then that all goes into the gov'ts pocket because the politicians that support unions also support raising taxes. It really isnt that simple. Not to mention the run away spending that liberals also support which causes inflation that amount to hidden taxes on all other expenses. Add into that, the high unemployment because Obama cant get a budget and the uncertainty that goes along with that causes unemployment. I would rather be non union making 742, then unemployed while union workers make 943, well except for hostess. they lost there jobs. Plus the drastic downfall in union members. It really isnt that simple. Wish it was though.
    Cant work that equation without figuring in outsourcing, unemployment and inflation, sorry.

    I will not pretend I know what I'm talking about here, you're an American and you live it, BUT I have to ask this..........why are taxes the domestic equvalent of Al-Quaeda in the USA? Taxes are, in the end, what keeps the country from falling apart, what keeps it safe, what keeps it running. It's what those elected into office DO with those taxes, that's the problem. You can't look at it black & white, "liberals" & "conservatives"..........there's been more than enough abuse on both sides.

    Here, I pay approximately 29% of my income towards federal and provincial taxes, Canada Pension Plan and unemployment insurance. Then there's sales taxes, and tolls and fees and user taxes etc. In return, I get a meager government pension when I turn 65, and a maximum of something like $800 every two weeks if I lose my job (I've never had to claim unemployment so I don't know for certain) But more importantly, the roads are in good condition, the schools do a good job, there are enough police and firefighters, and my basic medical premium is $50 a month, no matter if I have an ear infection or cancer. Because, in theory, everyone here pays their fair share of taxes, we're all keeping Canada afloat.

    I don't have a union job, but my dad was a union member for 30+ years at CN Rail. Unions aren't just about wages, they're about working conditions as well. In the beginning, unions gave us the 8-hour work day and the 5-day work week. Me, I work 10 hours a day without any overtime, in violation of the federal and provicial labor codes, but it is what it is. I'm paid well enough, and honestly I count myself as lucky to have a job to begin with.

    You're absolutely right, it isn't that simple, but when you demonize unions and The Left you're attempting to MAKE it that simple.


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    Last edited by 87sluggo; 01-25-2013 at 01:59 AM.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by indexed View Post
    I would rather be non union making 742, then unemployed while union workers make 943.
    You'd rather be underpaid in a non-union job and then unemployed? As opposed to being in a union job that on average pays you $200 more a week?
    I get philosophical debate for and against unions, but I don't get that logic. You should want what gets you more money in your pocket.
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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by matt_curren View Post
    You'd rather be underpaid in a non-union job and then unemployed? As opposed to being in a union job that on average pays you $200 more a week?
    I get philosophical debate for and against unions, but I don't get that logic. You should want what gets you more money in your pocket.
    That's making the assumption that the union job and non union jobs are completely the same, and everything else is the same except for being underpaid, right?
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by mrveggieman View Post
    This is really sad news. What's going to happen is business realize that and will only treat their employees worse. Employee morale and production will decrease which will lead to sub par products and services and business will raise the cost of things to because the will be losing money on productivity not to mention having to keep retraining new employees because of the high employee turnover.
    There are plenty of non union companies who treat they employees great. My company for one. Besides, plenty of the jobs that have been moved out of the country were union jobs. I don't know what the percentage of union to non union workers is, but I'd bet that non union workers have greatly outnumbered union workers for at least the last 10-20 years.
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  10. #10
    "I would rather be non union making 742, then unemployed while union workers make 943"


    than

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