Last year, the union membership rate fell by 0.2 percentage points to 10.1% — the lowest on record. The absolute number of American workers in unions did grow in 2022 — by approximately 200,000. But the number of non-union jobs grew faster.
A task force is exploring how to boost union organizing and clout. Talks have included leveraging federal purchasing to steer agency contracts to companies with unionized labor or that otherwise promote workers’ rights.
The Amazon organizing drive has drawn attention to just how much the deck is stacked against workers and unions. The Pro Act would provide a much-needed update to labor law after decades of rising inequality and an erosion of collective bargaining.
The question is whether even a supportive president can reverse the decline in union power that economists say has helped hollow out America's middle class. Neither organized labor nor sympathetic politicians have managed to do that for decades.
“There’s a litany of things the Trump administration has done that we have to undo,” said Rep. Andy Levin (D-Mich.), who serves on the House Education and Labor Committee and is a top contender for labor secretary in the Biden administrtation.
We need to bring back fairness to an economy plagued by an imbalance of power between workers and employers. At a time when our nation is engaged in a vital conversation about economic justice, we need to make union membership a civil right.