Unions aren't going without a fight!
A little more than fifty years ago, over a quarter of workers belonged to some type of union. Today, fewer than 12 percent of all workers belong to a labor group, and they're under attack by corporations and their lackeys in state and federal government. A half century ago, union membership put power in the hands of employees, and led to some of the highest wages and employee protections in our history. However, thirty years of deregulation, outsourcing, and an overall war on workers cut the percentage of unionized workers by more than half.
Thankfully, today's labor groups aren't giving up without a fight. They're using some new tactics to demonstrate the importance of union membership, help other workers form unions, and plan ahead for the future. Recently, the Think Progress Blog spoke to labor activists around the country about some of the new ways they're fighting for workers. Unions like the SEIU 503 in Oregon are using so-called “Shop Mobs” to show up in huge crowds to support employee-owned businesses.
Other groups, like two trade unions in New York state, are forming coalitions to “pool resources and bring people together to fight.” The painters and allied trades union in St. Louis, Missouri is getting in touch with the community and offering apprenticeship programs to local residents, and the IBEW is training younger members how to be the next generation of union leaders. These groups are determined to ensure that workers of the future have the same rights and benefits that workers of the past fought hard to make possible. The anti-union lawmakers may have won a few battles, but labor groups won't give up until they declare victory in the war on workers.