Friday, January 26, 2007

Less Union Membership

BLS released its annual report on union membership. Summarized by NAM's "Shopfloor," we read:

In the Fifties, unions represented almost 35% of the workforce. By 1983, that number had dipped to 20%. Yesterday's numbers show that union membership has dropped to its lowest point since the government began tracking the numbers -- to an embarrassing 12%. In the private sector, the news is even worse for labor, where they now represent a paltry 7.4% of all workers.

There are lots of reasons for this, and not all of them have to do with "union intransigience" on wage/benefit/rules/conditions. A significant portion has to do with membership dissatisfaction with the movement's internal governance and overtly leftist politics.

With a history that is somewhat rooted in the Guild movement of Europe (before the Protestant Revolution took effect) the union movement's leadership should re-examine their Guild-like roots.

Unless there is reform, the movement may well practically disappear in private industry.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have nothing but admiration for a master plumber. The union roots in the pride of craft guild movement unfortunantly ran into 20th century save my job collectivism. AFSCME: In 1932, as the country suffered through the worst economic depression in its history, a small group of white-collar, professional state employees met in Madison, Wisconsin. They formed the Wisconsin State Administrative, Clerical, Fiscal and Technical Employees Association (which soon became the Wisconsin State Employees Association). The leader of the group, Col. A.E. Garey, was the director of the state Civil Service system, and the reason for the group's creation was simple: basic survival. Wisconsin state employees held their jobs based on competitive civil service examinations and there was genuine fear that state politicians might attempt to return to a political patronage, or "spoils" system.

Are you shocked that Madison hosts the initial outbreak of the government union epidemic infecting the body politic?