Among industrial workers, 6.6 percent were in unions in 2012, a drop from 6.9 percent the previous year.
“From the mid-1970s until shortly before the Great Recession [2008-2009], it really paid to be a factory worker in America,” writes Jim Tankersley in a Washingtonpost.com blog. “Manufacturing workers earned more per hour, on average, than workers across the private sector at large.”
Since around 2007 the opposite has been true. Part of the reason, Tankersley says, is that “the factory sector has been almost entirely deunionized.” There are 80 percent fewer factory union jobs today than in 1979, through a steady drop that has occurred every year since then.
Union membership among public workers declined to 35.9 percent, from 37 percent in 2011, the bureau reported. More public workers are in unions (7.3 million) today than those employed in manufacturing (7 million).
NY school bus strikers resist bosses, city gov’t
‘If they do this to us, they’ll do it to everyone’
Uruguay strikers win right to suspend work over safety
On-the-job construction deaths rise in New York
5 miners killed in first 5 weeks of year
On the Picket Line
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