Over decades, special interests have mounted staggering attacks on workers’ right to organize unions and make their voices heard. This week the Bureau of Labor Statistics released numbers on the trends of union membership in 2019. According to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI):
“New data on unionization from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that in 2019, 16.4 million workers in the U.S. were represented by a union. There was very little change in this figure from 2018 (+3,000). However, because employment of wage and salary workers grew at a faster rate than the number of workers represented by a union over this period (1.2% vs. 0.02%), the share of workers represented by a union ticked down between 2018 and 2019, from 11.7% to 11.6%”.
Public support for unions remains high, and unions are pushing forward with proactive legislation to make organizing easier, extend collective bargaining rights and lift up all workers. Here in Pennsylvania, the State Federation has put forth an ambitious legislative agenda, Pennsylvania’s Workers’ Bill of Rights. The National AFL-CIO has worked on similar legislation at the Federal level with the (PROAct) Protecting the Right to Organize Act.