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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. #21
    Some companies are great, yes. These are the VAST minority.

  3. #22
    two issues with unions. one is that they often become protection for substandard employees who companies cannot fire because they are union (article a year or so ago about the teacher who hadn't taught in over 5 years but was still making six figures because they couldn't fire her).
    secondly, none of the statistics on wages every take into account union dues. I have had numerous friends who were fire fighters and all said that if they weren't paying union dues, they wouldn't need a union to fight for more money.

    lastly, a friend of mine set up at a card show in chicago. he was not allowed to plug in his laptop because a union "electrician" had that job. All the man did was go around and plug things in and out and made a good salary doing it. That never happens if you don't have unions.
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  4. #23
    My boss used to tell me I was lucky I wasn't union because of the union dues.
    He stopped when I asked if that would outweigh the five years of raises I would have received but didn't.
    The union dues argument is bunk. I'd have gladly paid the dues if it meant I got what I deserved.

  5. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by shrewsbury View Post
    My benefits are 100% paid, which includes life insurance and a company vehicle and I make great money.
    Quote Originally Posted by shrewsbury View Post
    also, you people realize taxes will raise on everyone making 50k and up, not just "rich" people.
    my taxes will go up about $320 per pay check, and I am not rich at all.
    So which is it again? If you are telling the truth about that $320/week tax hike you make about $400K a year.
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  6. #25
    matt, first, would 400k be great money?
    second, I said pay check, you have assumed I get paid weekly, some people get paid biweekly, and some even once per month.
    thirdly, i was a little off, from the looks of my first pay check this year, it will be about $260ish
    and lastly, what I make a year is private between my wife and I.

    but thanks for caring!!!

  7. #26
    First - Yes 400k is "great money" so IF you make salary you can't really say "I'm not rich why are the evil democrats picking on me"

    Second - yes you said paycheck, which by most standards is every 2 weeks... so $320 MORE each pay period in payroll taxes translates to $640 more per month and $7680 more a year. Using that math you make over $400k a year.

    and lastly your salary is your business but you were the one who put the numbers out there in the first place.




    Quote Originally Posted by shrewsbury View Post
    matt, first, would 400k be great money?
    second, I said pay check, you have assumed I get paid weekly, some people get paid biweekly, and some even once per month.
    thirdly, i was a little off, from the looks of my first pay check this year, it will be about $260ish
    and lastly, what I make a year is private between my wife and I.

    but thanks for caring!!!
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  8. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Wickabee View Post
    My boss used to tell me I was lucky I wasn't union because of the union dues.
    He stopped when I asked if that would outweigh the five years of raises I would have received but didn't.
    The union dues argument is bunk. I'd have gladly paid the dues if it meant I got what I deserved.
    so the union dues argument is bunk coming from the people who pay union dues? gotcha
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  9. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by ensbergcollector View Post
    so the union dues argument is bunk coming from the people who pay union dues? gotcha
    All the websites I looked at claimed union dues averaged about $500-$1,000 annually... put that up against the additional $200/week you get on average for being in one... and you get an additional $10,400 a year. That's a more than 10:1 return on investment... so yeah. bunk. I don't even really get the debate.

    "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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  10. #29
    matt, no matter what I make does not give the right for someone to think I should pay more taxes, if you think it is unfair, get a better job.

  11. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by ensbergcollector View Post
    so the union dues argument is bunk coming from the people who pay union dues? gotcha
    What would you rather have. A raise when you deserve it and some union dues or no raise for five years because, as my boss put it, "I didn't get one for eight years once."

    I'll take the dues and get paid what I'm worth. You can go risk you life for $11/hr and save the dues.Deal, no? Then yes, iit's complete bunk.

    Also, who said my boss was union? He wasn't, never was and he parrotted what his bosses told him about unions.

    Complete bunk.
    Last edited by Wickabee; 01-28-2013 at 11:22 AM.

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