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Sunday Poll: Are Labor Unions Still Necessary In 2019?

September 1, 2019 Featured No Comments
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Tomorrow is Labor Day, so today’s poll will be about labor unions.

Bumper stickers aren’t known for being the most trustworthy sources of historical fact, but the one that proclaims that weekends are “brought to you by the labor movement” gets it exactly right. If anything, it doesn’t go far enough.

Indeed, employers and elected leaders did not implement the five-day workweek out of the goodness of their hearts. Rather, workers and their unions agitated lobbied, organized, struck and voted for decades to achieve these gains. As Frederick Douglass, the legendary African American activist, once declared: “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” (Time)

Union membership isn’t what it had been.

The union membership rate—the percent of wage and salary workers who were members of unions— was 10.5 percent in 2018, down by 0.2 percentage point from 2017, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The number of wage and salary workers belonging to unions, at 14.7 million in 2018, was little changed from 2017. 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. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

So here’s today’s poll.

This poll will close at 8pm tonight.

— Steve Patterson


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