Could Employee Choice End Labor Unions’ Influence?

Employee Relations Law Journal Summer 2017

Adam C. Abrahms, a Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management and Health Care and Life Sciences practices, in the firm’s Los Angeles office, authored an article in Employee Relations Law Journal, titled “Could Employee Choice End Labor Unions’ Influence?”

Following is an excerpt:

In 2016 private sector union membership dropped to its lowest level in history – a dismal 6.4 percent. Given the laws and systems in place related to union membership, this means that at least 94.6 percent of all American private sector workers currently choose not to be union members. The drop, recently reported in a routine annual report issued by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), also was the largest year over year percentage drop in recent years, dropping 0.3 percent, from 6.7 percent in 2015.

While the percentage of union members as a portion of the total workforce saw a steep drop, possibly more disturbing to union bosses is the fact that the actual raw numbers of union members also dropped over 100,000 members from 7.554 million to 7.435 million dues paying members. This loss of dues revenue could hurt unions’ efforts to organize members as well as lobby and elect politicians.

A similar article appeared as a blog post on Management Memo in February 2017.