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Labor unions suffer decline in memberships

Membership is at its lowest level since the 1930s

February 17, 2013

WASHINGTON — The nation’s labor unions suffered sharp declines in membership last year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said in January, led by losses in the public sector as cash-strapped state and......

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(26)

Suttle

Feb-17-13 2:53 PM

The future of unions and the middle class is one and the same. It is interesting that you can graph the decline of union membership with the decline of the middle class and the average salary that a middle class worker earns (from the late 70's until present). It is also of interest to see that given a choice most workers would join a union, but because we have so many labor laws that are against workers few employees ever get to vote if they want to unionize or not. As unions go so will the middle class. Western industrial countries that have the highest living standards also have the highest percentage of their workers unionized. The future of the American worker does not look promising.

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SocialismIsHere

Feb-17-13 4:39 PM

boo hoo Unions aren't what they used to be. It's about money now and not the worker.

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denver

Feb-18-13 4:25 AM

Well said "Suttle"

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denver

Feb-18-13 5:31 AM

"It was labor unions that helped build the largest middle class in history. So even if you're not a union member, every American owes something to America's labor movement." It is the America workers that made America great, not the bankers and executives! Things get turned around, and twisted, in the world of business today, and it is "unacceptable." We need a strong work force and a strong labor union to bring back the largest middle class in history. as our Fathers and Grandfathers did for us.

Remember This: United we stand, divided we fall.

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WVWVWV

Feb-18-13 5:52 AM

Unions were once a great thing for the American workers. Now they are nothing more than a part of the left wing, helping to destroy America. Its all about money and how much union leaders can make. The unions now protect workers that cant or don't want to do the job. Look at the NEA. Americas education system has been broken for along time. We have teachers in public schools that should not be there.Just look at the overall standings of American education score compared to the rest of the world.

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denver

Feb-18-13 8:08 AM

"SocialismIsHere" "WVWVWV" can either one of you tell us what the first fifteen words in the United States Constitution are?

It starts like this "We the People"

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WVWVWV

Feb-18-13 8:42 AM

WITH UNIONS WHERE DOES "PERFECT" COME IN?

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denver

Feb-18-13 9:35 AM

"We the People" of the United States, in Order to form a more {perfect Union,} "WVWVWV" you figure it out

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objective

Feb-18-13 10:45 AM

You thought corporation willingly gave their workers benefits,health insurance,sick,vacation,worker's compensation,and overtime pay? It's okay,You're not the only one who's unaware that UNIONS set the standard for that!

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WVWVWV

Feb-18-13 11:46 AM

I have figured it out, todays unions are so anti American worker.Todays unions are about how much the union leaders can pocket. One time unions were good,but power and money destroyed what they stood for. Now the rule out of fear,hate and greed.

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Remington

Feb-18-13 11:52 AM

Love it, that the membership is declining. People are starting to wise up. All of our jobs are going overseas because of the Union greed. Toyota has a Union but they work together to benefit each other. People are starting to realize that they are much better off without being FORCED to pay for something that will not help them. All I can say is there will be more Unions biting the dust soon

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denver

Feb-18-13 12:00 PM

You know "Remington" and "WVWVWV" might be right, who needs Unions if you only have a working poor workforce. *ell, the rest of the third world is getting along just fine.

Now wait for it.

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denver

Feb-18-13 3:46 PM

"R1KRA8" name one instance where somebody was "forced" to join a union in order to get a "JOB"

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gunsrock

Feb-18-13 4:42 PM

I used to work construction in North Carolina (right to work state) You could get a job anywhere if you could weld and will in to work. For $10 an hour. Worked my arse off too. Found out a union construction trade was hiring here. Got tested. Got fired from Carolina for taking 3 days off to come home because they knew I was testing. Got accepted. Got to go thru a 5 year apprenticeship and all the extra classes they offered. Received my 2 year degree from WVU-P because of the credit hours earned at the apprenticship. By the way did I say I started out $3 dollars more an hour plus benifits after 6 months of work. Now triple that number after 5 years without having to screw someone to get it. Do what you think is best. I will stick with the UNIONS!!!

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denver

Feb-19-13 5:47 AM

"R1KRA8" who was "forced" to join a union

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MadAsHeck

Feb-19-13 9:16 AM

The unions have declined because of the havoc their Boss's policies have wrecked on the US economy. Through political blackmail, they have bullied themselves into these horrid contracts where you can't fire anyone, you pay workers for doing nothing, and provide life time benefits and totally unsustainable retirement packages. Greed my friends has destroyed unions. Sorry, I will cry not for the bloated pigs at the trough squeal when their contracts are eventually broken simply because there is no money to fund their insane contracts.

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Geezer

Feb-19-13 11:23 AM

@denver; RIKRA8 is correct. In W.Va. and Ohio (and many other states) if an employment location is considered to be a 'union shop', new employees are required to join that union once they are hired by the company. I have personally witnessed instances where union personnel physically removed new employees from the work location because they didn't join the union controlling that location. It isn't right, it's just the way it is.

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Geezer

Feb-19-13 11:32 AM

Another example is picket violence. If you will remember two Constellium union employees attacked and seriously injured a truck driver who was crossing their picket line during their last strike. Both were arrested and charged with felonies. At the time I commented on here that charges would be dropped against both upon the end of the strike. While many doubted me, I ended up being correct. No magistrate in Jackson County would pursue charges against any union member involved in picket line violence. It's not right, it's just the way it is.

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MadAsHeck

Feb-19-13 11:45 AM

Geezer said: "No magistrate in Jackson County would pursue charges against any union member involved in picket line violence. It's not right, it's just the way it is."

.. The reason is, the magistrate and their families/loved ones would be subject to terror by the union thugs. Period.

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denver

Feb-19-13 5:38 PM

"Geezer" if you don't want to be in a union why would you apply for a union job? Unless you're a scab! Nobody "forced" you to apply for a Union Job now did they?

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AaronS

Feb-20-13 6:52 AM

My dear Mr. Steward:

As I am unable to accept your kind invitation to be present on the occasion of the Twentieth Jubilee Convention of the National Federation of Federal Employees, I am taking this method of sending greetings and a message.

Reading your letter of July 14, 1937, I was especially interested in the timeliness of your remark that the manner in which the activities of your organization have been carried on during the past two decades "has been in complete consonance with the best traditions of public employee relationships." Organizations of Government employees have a logical place in Government affairs.

The desire of Government employees for fair and adequate pay, reasonable hours of work, safe and suitable working conditions, development of opportunities for advancement, facilities for fair and impartial consideration and review of grievances, and other objectives of a proper employee relations policy, is basically no different from that of employees in pr

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AaronS

Feb-20-13 6:54 AM

…..is basically no different from that of employees in private industry. Organization on their part to present their views on such matters is both natural and logical, but meticulous attention should be paid to the special relationships and obligations of public servants to the public itself and to the Government. All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations when applied to public personnel management. The very nature and purposes of Government make it impossible for administrative officials to represent fully or to bind the employer in mutual discussions with Government employee organizations. The employer is the whole people, who speak by means of laws enacted by their representatives in Congress. Accordingly, administrative officials and employees alike are governed and guided, and in many instances restricted, by laws which

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AaronS

Feb-20-13 6:54 AM

…by laws which establish policies, procedures, or rules in personnel matters.

Particularly, I want to emphasize my conviction that militant tactics have no place in the functions of any organization of Government employees. Upon employees in the Federal service rests the obligation to serve the whole people, whose interests and welfare requires orderliness and continuity in the conduct of Government activities. This obligation is paramount. Since their own services have to do with the functioning of the Government, a strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to prevent or obstruct the operations of Government until their demands are satisfied. Such action, looking toward the paralysis of Government by those who have sworn to support it, is unthinkable and intolerable. It is, therefore, with a feeling of gratification that I have noted in the constitution of the National Federation of Federal Employees the provision that "under no circumstance

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AaronS

Feb-20-13 6:56 AM

....."under no circumstances shall this Federation engage in or support strikes against the United States Government."

I congratulate the National Federation of Federal Employees the twentieth anniversary of its founding and trust that the convention will, in every way, be successful.

Very sincerely yours,

Franklin D. Roosevelt

------------------------------

This and the 3 previous post come from a letter from FDR, who opposed public unions.

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gorilla

Feb-24-13 10:18 AM

Thanks to Obama, the EPA and tree huggers "War on Coal" for loss of union memberships.

If you're old enough you would know the coal mines, coal burning power plants and other coal related users have made great improvements in cleaning the environment.

Thanks to the Unions for building our economy and industries.

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