As a result of strong collective bargaining agreements in a rebounding auto industry, the number of
has grown for five straight years, with the latest government figures showing an increase to 403,466 in 2014, compared to 391,415 in 2013. Said UAW President Dennis Williams:
The money that hasn’t been going into workers’ paychecks while wages have stagnated for decades has been found. It’s been diverted to corporate profits and,
according to a new study
, that money was rerouted because of a decline in union membership—not the technology and computerization that’s boosted productivity and eliminated jobs.
Union members have been called many stereotypes over the years: thugs, relics, selfish—the list goes on. But the truth is union members are people who work and make contributions to their communities every day. Union members are innovating on the job and training the next generation of skilled workers, among many other things.
The New York Times
posted an editorial today
highlighting the need for high-paying American jobs, a shift from austerity to investments in our infrastructure and economy and strengthening workers' rights to collectively bargain for a voice on the job. The Times is publishing a series of editorials "on what President Obama and Congress should tackle in the next four years.”
Other editorials can be found here
The 400,000 drop in labor union membership
announced by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
last week is discouraging. The bigger story is that at the center of the drop is the decline in employment for public-sector workers, most notably local government workers. This has been the weakest sector of the economy. And that largely reflects the decline in teachers. So, this is not so much about unions losing, but the continued lack of focus of American economic policy on maintaining investments for America’s future in the face of the ongoing weak economy. The myopic debates on the fiscal deficit and cutting budgets to meet the educational needs of America’s children (in order to preserve tax cuts for the currently wealthy) is not a plan to make America succeed in the long run.
It’s a fact: If you’re a union member you have better wages, benefits and working conditions—along with a voice at work. But a new
Duke University study
suggests that labor unions also are good for your health.
The research finds that more unionized U.S. workers consider themselves healthy than do their nonunion counterparts, an indication that membership is good for the body as well as the paycheck, said David Brady, a Duke sociology professor and co-author of the study.