We’ve been told that 2023 was the year that labor unions flexed their muscle – especially with their pal Lunch Bucket Joe in the White House. The pro-union forces tout the big United Auto Workers strike that ended with a big payoff and some Starbucks baristas unionizing.
Except that new data show that the percentage of workers who belong to unions in the U.S. hit a record low of 10% in 2023, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. By comparison, in 1983, during the Reagan years, it was 1 in 5.
But the even bigger story in union membership is that private-sector unions are disappearing. In the 1950s, nearly all of the union members were private-sector workers.
Today, private-sector union membership has tumbled to only 6.0 percent of the workforce. ALL the growth in union power has been in the government worker unions. Today 38% of public sector workers are in unions. Their salary and benefit packages far outstrip those in the private sector.
Why are more and more blue collar workers spurning unions? One answer is that the union bosses don’t represent the interests of their members anymore. Trump won millions of blue-collar union members in 2016 and 2020, but the union bosses gave more than 95% of the union money to Biden and the Democrats. Biden’s anti-fossil fuels crusade will destroy hundreds of thousands of blue-collar union jobs, and yet the union bosses still support him.