Source: The New York Times
Unionization efforts involving some of the most recognizable names in business have dominated headlines across the United States in recent months. Starbucks workers in Buffalo and Amazon employees in Bessemer, Ala., and on Staten Island have recently moved to unionize, as have workers at an REI store in Manhattan last week. Successful strikes at John Deere and Kellogg have drawn new attention to the state of the labor movement as well.
The prominence of these organizing efforts, however, obscures the steady downward trend of union membership in the United States for more than four decades. In 1983, about 20 percent of employees belonged to a union; by 2021, that number had dropped to just over 10 percent, according to data from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.