Despite Surge in Organizing, Union Membership Rates Dropped in 2022
By Emily Andrews and Lorena Roque
The American labor movement is experiencing a reawakening. Across a breadth of employers and sectors—from Starbucks to Amazon, the New York Times to the University of California—workers are standing up for a voice on the job, better working conditions, and improved pay and benefits. Despite the surge in union organizing activity in 2022, union membership unfortunately decreased last year to 10.1 percent, down from 10.3 percent in 2021, according to this week’s U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report. The share of workers represented by a union and covered by a union contract also decreased from 11.6 percent in 2021 to 11.3 percent in 2022. The inability of workers to translate union organizing campaigns into union representation is a direct result of our broken and outdated labor laws — laws that favor employers while curtailing workers’ rights.
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