September 7, 2009

Labor unions look to regroup

Support for the labor movement has fallen to 48 percent from 59 percent since 2008, the lowest support level in 70 years, a Gallup survey indicates.

The dip comes despite labor having allies in the White House and Congress and the anti-corporate mood in the country, Forbes reported Monday.

However, AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Richard Trumka seems ready to concede that labor unions haven't persuaded Congress and the public on issues such as card-check legislation that would end secret ballots in union elections and make it more difficult for companies to mount anti-unionization campaigns, the magazine said.

Since its mid-20th century heyday, organized labor's highest priority has been to reverse its slide in membership, Forbes said. After World War II ended, more than a third of U.S. work force was represented by unions, compared with 12 percent representation today. Since 2007, labor union density has seen an uptick, primarily because of a large and growing proportion of public-sector unionization while private sector representation slides.