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American Rights at Work Statement on Annual Bureau of Labor Statistics Union Membership Report

Don't Be Fooled By New Union Membership Numbers 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 25, 2008

CONTACT:
Josh Goldstein
202-822-2127 x118
954-254-4900 (Cell)
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WASHINGTON, DC—According to the annual report of union membership released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), union workers’ share of the workforce has increased from 12.0 in 2006 to 12.1 in 2007. While the numbers produced by the report are a positive sign for union membership, they unfortunately do not reflect a change in the challenges facing America’s workers.

A year filled with over 60 decisions by the National Labor Relations Board stripping the rights of categories of workers and making it more difficult for to join or form unions provides a darker outlook for 2008.

Following the release of the BLS report, American Rights at Work Executive Director Mary Beth Maxwell issued the following statement:

“Despite the unprecedented level of employer resistance, the eagerness of workers to form and join unions has sustained. But no one should be fooled by these numbers. The fact remains that 25 percent of employers fire pro-union workers during organizing campaigns. In 2007, Bush’s National Labor Relations Board handed down a record number of anti-worker decisions—making it even more difficult for workers to form unions and even stripping categories of workers of their rights to be in a union. Such decisions provide a grimmer outlook for 2008.

“We can only expect a significant rise in union membership when men and women regain their federally protected right to form unions. Appointing new National Labor Relations Board members who will actually protect workers’ rights is a no-brainer. Enacting legislation such as the Employee Free Choice Act to restore workers’ rights to form unions is another critical step.”