Card Check: BLS Data Shows Union Membership on the Rise

By January 28, 2009Labor Unions

Data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics today show that union membership increased by 428,000 to 16.1 million in 2008. While union membership accounted for 12.4 percent of the national workforce, only 7.6 percent of private sector employees are members of a labor union.

These new figures, coupled with data released by the National Labor Relations Board in November, make the clear case that the current system for joining a labor union works. Union membership is on the rise and labor unions currently win more than two-thirds of organizing union representation elections. At what point will labor leaders be satisfied?

Meanwhile, polling data released Monday highlights that the vast majority of union members (74 percent nationwide) wish to retain their right to a secret ballot – a right destroyed by the Employee Free Choice Act. Today’s BLS report confirms that through secret ballots and a free flow of information, workers are able to form a union, if they freely to choose it. It’s those freedoms that are at risk if organized labor forces through its No. 1 political priority, which would more accurately be called, the Employee FORCED Choice Act.

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