You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to www.journalgazette.net/newsletter and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.

Business

  • GM boosted June sales with discounts to dealers
    As General Motors prepares to report monthly sales results on Friday, a look its numbers from June show just how intent the company is on keeping new-car sales on the rise during a record spate of safety recalls.
  • Target taps outsider as next CEO
    NEW YORK – Target is bringing in an outsider as its CEO for the first time as the retailer fights to redefine itself to American shoppers.
  • Kroger Marketplace to end furniture line
    From furniture to flannel shirts. Kroger Marketplace stores announced Thursday they would abandon furniture sections in favor of apparel.
Advertisement

Union ranks skid to low set in ’30s

– Union membership plummeted last year to the lowest level since the 1930s as cash-strapped state and local governments shed workers and unions had difficulty organizing new members in the private sector despite signs of an improving economy.

Government figures released Wednesday showed union membership declined from 11.8 percent to 11.3 percent of the workforce, another blow to a labor movement already stretched thin by battles in Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan and other states to curb bargaining rights and weaken union clout.

Overall membership fell by about 400,000 workers to 14.4 million, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. More than half the loss, about 234,000, came from government workers including teachers, firefighters and public administrators.

But unions also saw losses in the private sector even as the economy created 1.8 million new jobs in 2012. That membership rate fell from 6.9 percent to 6.6 percent, a troubling sign for organized labor, as job growth generally has taken place at nonunion companies.

“To employers, it’s going to look like the labor movement is ready for a knockout punch,” said Gary Chaison, professor of industrial relations at Clark University in Worcester, Mass. “You can’t be a movement and get smaller.”

Union membership was 13.2 percent in 1935 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the National Labor Relations Act. Its ranks peaked in the 1950s, with 1 of every 3 workers in a union.

Advertisement