Percent of union members in Michigan workforce increased to 15.6 percent
LANSING – The Bureau of Labor Statistics released new data today that show labor unions in Michigan added 52,000 members last year, with membership increasing from 606,000 employees in 2016 to 658,000 in 2017. The percent of wage and salary workers in Michigan who were members of unions increased from 14.4 percent in 2016 to 15.6 percent in 2017.
“This is great news for Michigan’s working families and great news for our economy,” said Ron Bieber, President of the Michigan AFL-CIO. “We need the power in numbers of unions more than ever to protect things our families need, like affordable health care, good schools, and Social Security and Medicare. Now it’s time for our elected officials in Lansing and Washington to get the message, stop attacking working people, and start working together to protect the freedom of working people to negotiate together for a fair return on our work. That’s how we’ll build an economy in Michigan that works for everyone, not just the wealthy.”
Nationally, the number of union members rose by 260,000 in 2017. Other key trends include:
- Young workers continue to drive union growth. Since 2012, union membership among workers under 35 has continued to rise. Last year, they made up three quarters of new members.
- Professionals and information industry workers continue to drive growth, reflecting key organizing successes by the Communications Workers of America; the Writers Guild of America, East; the American Federation of Teachers; and the American Federation of Government Employees.
- Recent victories are among workers across sectors ranging from media employees to charter school teachers and librarian professionals to the 20,000 doctors who joined unions in the last year.
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