For the second year in a row, the percentage of workers who belong to a union grew, according to the annual survey of union membership released this morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
In 2008, union membership grew by 428,000, increasing the percentage of union members in the workforce to 12.4 percent, up from 12.1 percent in 2007. Overall, 16.1 million workers carry union cards. Union membership, AFL-CIO President John Sweeney says, is especially valuable to working families as the nation’s economy is in the worst recession in decades. Today’s numbers confirm what many working people already know: that if given the chance, American workers are choosing to join unions in larger numbers. Workers in unions are much more likely to have health care benefits and a pension than those without a union; in today’s economy, that’s the difference between sinking and swimming. continue reading

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