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Union Membership

Union Membership

| January 18, 2021

In America’s manufacturing heyday of the 1950’s, more than one-third of all American workers belonged to a union.  It was down to 20% in the 1980’s, and last year that number had fallen to just 10% - with the overwhelming majority now made up of teachers, service employees, and public sector employees.  One huge area of the economy that has remained steadfastly union-free is the white-collar tech, and particularly software, sector.  Perhaps a portent of change for that industry occurred on January 4th when a group calling itself the Alphabet Workers Union (AWU) emerged from secrecy and formally declared itself a legitimate union of Google employees (Alphabet, Inc. is the parent company of Google). (Data from BLS, chart from

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Jeffrey Cerny