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Unions and Unionism in the United States

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How relevant are unions in America today?

Are unions fair to employees, employers, taxpayers?

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How relevant are unions in America today?

Labor unionism in the United States seems a bit unable to arrest labor decline. Its relevance to workers is waning.

Plumer (2012) noted that since the 1960s, organized labor in the United States has been steadily decaying. A half-century ago, 30 percent of American workers were members in a union. By last year, that had shriveled to 11.8 percent.

Greenhouse (2005) sounded the alarm as early as 2005 when he recognized that reversing labor's decline is a tall order.
He said that to increase the percentage of the work force that is unionized would require unions to recruit one million new members a year, more than twice the current rate of recruitment. Meanwhile, companies have grown far more sophisticated, and aggressive, in beating back unionization attempts.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2012) documented that the unemployment rate edged down to 7.7 percent in November 2012. Despite of this change, the number of unemployed persons, at 12.0 million, changed little.

The Las Vegas Sun (2012) noted that for labor, reasserting relevance is crucial. The country's unionization rate slid to 12.3 percent last year.
It also noted that for the first time, a majority of American union members are government workers rather than private-sector employees. Just 7.2 percent of private-sector workers are in unions, the lowest percentage since 1900.
The Las Vegas Sun (2012) concluded that private-sector union membership fell precipitously last year to 7.4 million from 8.2 ...

Solution Summary

This solution will show that labor unionism in the United States seems a bit unable to arrest labor decline. Its relevance to workers is waning. But despite of this, unions fight for higher standards for workers, businesses, families, the environment, and public health and safety and have helped to build the middle class and make sure the economy works for everyone.