Local’s Leader Reports on National Union Trends

Bret Schulte
Bret Schulte

“The infusion of the middle class into the labor movement means a shifting sense of where social change is most desperately needed. What hasn’t changed is that unions are an effective tool for changing priorities.”

AFSCME Local 965 Arkansas President Bret Schulte, a career reporter currently an associate professor with the University of Arkansas School of Journalism and Strategic Media, published an article April 12, 2019, on the future of unions in the respected online news publication Slate.com.

The Future of Unions Is White-Collar: Blue-collar Jobs Are Disappearing. But a Powerful New Wave of Organized Labor Is Taking Its Place”

By Bret Schulte

In his research, Schulte found, “more than 1 million professionals have joined unions in the past two decades, reaching an all-time high in 2018 of 6.18 million. The numbers of their blue-collar brethren, meanwhile, have plummeted by 3 million over the same period, according to numbers provided by the AFL-CIO.”

This is a straightforward news story with some analysis, not an opinion piece. It’s just under 2,000 words. Schulte uses transparency, noting in a paragraph mid-piece his union and professional affiliations.

One thought on “Local’s Leader Reports on National Union Trends”

  1. Quick reset of the American labor market:

    FIRST, recognize that old fashioned union organizing as we knew it may safely be declared dead (forever!) in this country. Even if we now make union busting a fed felony and hire (tens of?) thousands of fed investigators, what’s to keep millions of business owners and managers from laughing it off, asking: “What are you going to do, lock up all the business know how of the country?”

    SECOND, observe Repub: H.R.2723 (115th Congress) — Employee Rights Act
    “(2) require union recertification after a turnover in the workforce exceeding 50% of the bargaining unit”

    THIRD, think blue wave Dem modification: H.R.2723 (1/2) — 116th Congress — All Employees Rights Act
    “(1) Require union cert/recert/decert elections at all private workplaces — option for one, three or five year cycles, local plurality rules.”

    * * * * * *

    Remember; all those blue collar, swing states that have swung supposedly irretrievably into the Republican column voted for Obama — not just over Wall Street Romney in 2012 — but over Viet war hero, half-sensible Republican John McCain in 2008. Looking for someone thought might finally hear out their complaints (no joy).

    (late note: just learned Jesse Jackson won 1988 Dem primary in Michigan with 54% over both Dem rivals, Dukakis and Gephardt)

    Promise their own econ and pol power back any time they want to vote to cert and they can easily be persuaded to return to the party of their long belonging.

    Denis Drew


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