Friday, February 1, 2008

Union Membership Jumps in 2007

Union membership grew last year, despite employer opposition. If given the chance, says the AFL-CIO, 60 million American workers say they would join a union. Now we have unbiased evidence of just how true this is: Union membership in the United States grew – overall – by 311,000 members last year, according to this report by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics .

As noted in Think Progress, this is the first increase in 25 years and the largest single-year increase in overall membership since 1979 – a jump from 12.0 percent in 2006 to 12.1 percent in 2007. AFSCME Local 965 at the University of Arkansas grew by more than 10% last year. Nationally, 47,000 new workers chose AFSCME as their union in 2007.

"AFSCME’s growth, which has been consistent even during challenging times, is now part of a broader trend that’s spreading throughout the union movement," said President Gerald W. McEntee. “The labor movement will continue to grow and workers will prosper as more unions make organizing and politics top priorities, as AFSCME does. More than half of all workers say they would join a union right now if they could, which is why Congress must pass the Employee Free Choice Act, giving workers the freedom to join without interference from their employers.”

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