Union membership just hit a record low as 2023’s ‘hot labor summer’ can’t reverse a generational decline (Fortune)

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    Union membership just hit a record low as 2023’s ‘hot labor summer’ can’t reverse a generational decline – By Byirina Ivanova, Dee-Ann Durbin and the Associated Press (Fortune) / Jan 23, 2024

    Last year saw the most labor activity in decades, with high-profile strikes from auto workers, Hollywood actors, writers, and educators. But despite headlines, the “hot labor summer” of 2023 did not translate into substantially higher membership rates, according to government data released Tuesday.

    The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said that 10% of hourly and salaried workers were members of unions in 2023, or around 14.4 million people. That’s a 400,000 increase in membership from the year before, but because of the growth of the labor force, the share of union members shrank from 10.1% in 2022.

    The number of unionized workers in the private sector increased by 191,000 to 7.4 million last year. That includes workers at auto companies, Las Vegas hotels and Hollywood studios, all of whom went through high-profile contract negotiations in 2023. UPS workers who narrowly averted a highly publicized strike last summer to ratify what the union called “the most lucrative agreement the Teamsters have ever negotiated,” with top pay and benefits for drivers rising to the equivalent of $170,000.

    Starbucks workers also continued a union drive last year, which has expanded to at least 370 U.S. stores. Workers have yet to reach a labor agreement with Starbucks at any of those stores after negotiating for years, although Starbucks last month indicated it was willing to return to the bargaining table with the goal of reaching an agreement this year.

    CONTINUE > https://fortune.com/2024/01/23/union-membership-2023-record-low-strikes-hot-labor-summer/

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