For many workers, “unions are not seen as a normal part of working lives,” says William Powell Jones, a University of Wisconsin-Madison professor, of new Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers which show union enrollment in decline nationally, but particularly in Wisconsin which has become an epicenter of the effort to reform public worker unions.
Membership in organized labor unions dropped last year in Wisconsin by 16,000, according to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
That left 13.3 percent of the employed population — 339,000 workers — represented by unions, down from 14.2 percent in 2010. …
While labor unions gained members in 19 states last year, union membership nationally dropped from 11.9 percent of the employed population in 2010 to 11.8 percent in 2011, continuing a decades-long trend.
Union members also tended to be older than nonunion members, according to the BLS data. Union membership was 15.7 percent among workers 55 to 64, but 4.4 percent for those 16 to 24.
That union enrollment, nationally, would decline even after the hundreds of billions spent on union-friendly “stimulus” projects (not to mention rapid growth in the public sector in recent years, the last bastion or organized labor) is a bad, bad sign for unions. As is the fact that most younger workers see little need to pay union dues.
The problems and abuses that were the original impetus for the labor movement just don’t exist in modern America. In the nation’s halls of government there is are battles being waged over labor policies like the right to work and collective bargaining. It remains to be seen whether or not unions will ultimately win those battles, but as a whole they’re losing the war.
And they know it. That’s why they’re so eager to push policies that force unionization on the people.