Unions Continue to Shrink

Allen Smith, J.D. By Allen Smith, J.D. January 27, 2022
Someone on a bullhorn

​Union membership in the private sector has dipped to 6.1 percent, according to recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). We've gathered articles on the news from SHRM Online and other media outlets.

Union Membership Down by More than 200,000

"In 2021, the number of wage and salary workers belonging to unions continued to decline (-241,000) to 14 million, and the percent who were members of unions—the union membership rate—was 10.3 percent," according to the BLS. The unionization rate of public-sector workers—33.9 percent—was more than five times that in the private sector.

(The National Law Review)

Unionization Varies by State

More than 1 in 5 workers in Hawaii and New York are union members. More than 17 percent of workers in Alaska, Rhode Island and Washington state are members of unions as well. States with the lowest unionization rates include Arkansas, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Virginia, where fewer than 1 in 20 workers are union members.

(The Hill)

Recent Unionization Efforts

Recent unionization efforts have included Starbucks workers in Buffalo, N.Y. Amazon employees in Bessemer, Ala., and on Staten Island, N.Y., have also recently moved to unionize, as have workers at an REI store in Manhattan. These organizing efforts obscure the downward trend of union membership in the U.S.

(The New York Times)

October Strikes Resolved

Strikes at the Kellogg Co. and John Deere that began in October have now been resolved. At Kellogg, the new five-year contract included wage increases and cost-of-living adjustments in year one, according to a company statement. The contract also expanded health care and retirement benefits. At John Deere, strikers agreed to an immediate 10 percent raise, a signing bonus of $8,500, additional 5 percent raises in the third and fifth year of the six-year deal, and additional lump-sum payments equal to 3 percent of pay in years two, four and six. The deal also restored a cost-of-living adjustment to shield workers from inflation.

(SHRM Online), (SHRM Online) and (SHRM Online)



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