Labor unions see the future in white-collar workers
Rising job pressures are prompting more professionals to consider organizing, and that's not going unnoticed.
As an overall trend, union membership rates in the U.S. are declining. The Department of Labor reports just 11.3% of America's wage and salary workers were union members last year, down from 11.8% in 2011. Compare that with 1983, the first year comparable data became available: The overall U.S. union membership rate was 20.1%.
The U.S. labor movement's roots were traditionally found in manufacturing, service and public-sector jobs. But as that factory work diminishes and the economy changes, more white-collar workers are looking at organizing.
According to the Los Angeles Times, professionals now make up 62% of the U.S. workforce, up from 15% in 1977. Given the still-challenging economy and the many companies demanding more time and effort from workers to keep profits up while demand is lackluster, a lot of professionals are unhappy.
"Employers have been downsizing, asking employees to take on larger roles, making them work more hours," Nicole Korkolis, a spokeswoman for the Office and Professional Employees International Union, told the Times. "People are feeling like they need an advocate."
Gary Chaison, a professor of industrial relations at Clark University, says white-collar workers tend to see themselves as individuals who should be promoted for their accomplishments in the workplace -- and who tend to leave jobs when they don't like the situation rather than protest conditions. But that's changing.
"There is a great deal of unrest among professional workers, who don't have a history of union-joining behavior," Chaison told the newspaper. "They represent the frontiers of unionization in America."
Most big unions haven't given much thought to workplace professionals, preferring to concentrate their efforts on sectors that employ large numbers of workers, like hotels and fast-food restaurants. But some recent labor disputes are apparently drawing their attention.
Earlier this week, members of a union representing more than 200 attorneys, paralegals, secretaries and other professional voted to strike against their employer, Legal Services NYC, for the first time in nearly 20 years. That happened after the company called for cuts to health care and retirement benefits. And in California, professional health care workers at five University of California medical centers staged protests Wednesday, demanding increased staffing and higher pay.
Gordon Deane, the president of the National Organization of Legal Services Workers, tells the L.A. Times he's seeing more interest in unions among professionals who are feeling pushed around at the office.
"People are aware of how management decisions are affecting their work life," he said. "They are taking a stand and saying enough is enough."
We don`t want unions.We want to slave away until age 90 or we drop.$2 an hour is plenty.
How do you think Romney got so rich?Take the clock back to 1850.No benefits, no
retirement, crappy wages,no hope.Who needs hospitalization?We can all buy new cars
at $2 a day.Just work a few more decades.
NO UNIONS. They are the reason why shops are closing and jobs are going offshore. They have outlived their purpose and are now causing more harm than good.
Of course the fact that the rest of us have to pay $30,000 for a $24,000 car shouldn't bother you at all.
Share the wealth , right ?
Trade unions were started by Skilled Craftsmen and others like Cops and Firemen who organized for better wages and benefits otherwise known as the 40hr work week, company paid insurance, time and a half and double time. There was a time when cops, firemen, carpenters, plumbers, welders, aircraft mechanics ect could work a regular week and live a good, decent life.
Thanks to corruption on the both sides, big corporations/Washington busting the unions and the unions leaders themselves, it is getting harder and harder to make a living. Deregulation destroyed the airlines and trucking.....you union trashing people are talking out your **S. Plain old greed ruined everything. I took home more money at $13hr working at a union job than I have at a non union job making $25hr (I'm an aircraft mechanic) Insurance coverage is the biggest chunk out of my check and that is almost $1000 a month family coverage (Scam !!)
White collar unions......what a joke. A scam by scammers to protect scammers. The regular workers will all be working 30 hour work weeks with 3 different companies (no benefits) and be paying for obamacare. The wages will be $7.00hr while the top 1% live like the robber barons of the 1800s. Workers will work until they die and the companies will hire 2 people at lesser wages to take their place.
Hopefully, I can get my social security that I worked my butt off to pay into (12 more years) and leave all this drama behind me. Corporations, Unions ect....!!
The trust fund baby liberal governor in MN is trying again after a failed attempt to unionize daycare in the state.
Will probably work since they now have both house and senate.
Unions are demanding payback for getting these people elected, they wont stop until they get a cut from everyone's paycheck.
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