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Here, we come back to the value-added proposition. Historically, unions have fought for increased wages, benefits, better working conditions, and health and safety concerns. They have won on many fronts. But with the use of social media (read: instant publicity), employers must do what is in the best interests of their employees’ health and safety, regardless of legislation or unions.
Though change is a constant, sometimes both people and institutions find it difficult to adapt. Significant change that challenges one’s very existence can lead to irrational or impulsive decisions. Naturally such decision-making methodologies are not recommended, because the resulting short-term outcomes often end in long-term negative consequences.
This paper expresses my viewpoint concerning the potential revitalization of the union movement in North America. Given the decline of private sector unions over the last number of decades, if these organizations continue to apply their founding principles with the same strict and unwavering approach, we will likely see the demise of trade unionism as we have come to know it.
In 2014, the union membership rate—the percent of wage and salary workers who were members of unions—was 11.1 percent, down 0.2 percentage point from 2013, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The number of wage and salary workers belonging to unions, at 14.6 million, was little different from 2013. In 1983, the first year for which comparable union data are available, the union membership rate was 20.1 percent, and there were 17.7 million union workers.