The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its annual report on union membership, which found that the number of union members rose by 260,000 in 2017. This reflects critical organizing victories across a range of industries, which have reaped higher wages, better benefits, and a more secure future for working people around the country.
“In the face of a challenging year, the power of working people is on the rise,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “Together, we organized historic new unions, stood up to powerful corporations, and won higher wages. But today’s data is more than numbers on a page, it’s a growing movement of working people that can’t be measured as easily. When more union members fill the halls of power, when wages rise and inequality shrinks, and when a growing number of people see that we can and will change the rules of this economy - that’s when you’ll know unions are on the rise.”
- Workers in “right to work” states like South Carolina and Michigan are joining unions by the thousands.
- Young workers continue to drive union growth. Since 2012, union membership among workers under 35 has continued to rise. Last year, they made up three quarters of new members.
- Professionals and information industry workers continue to drive growth, reflecting key organizing successes by the Communications Workers of America; the Writer’s Guild of America, East; the American Federation of Teachers; and the American Federation of Government Employees.
- Recent victories are among workers across sectors ranging from media employees to charter school teachers and librarian professionals to the 20,000 doctors who joined unions in the last year.