In a recent post, we discussed how unions seem to be making a comeback in the American workforce. It is natural for interest in these matters to fluctuate and change, just as society and times change.
However, there are a few factors that seem to have led to this particular uptick in union interest and efforts.
What is behind this increase?
There are two driving factors influencing the increasing interest in unions. According to recent reports, it is mainly due to:
- Shifts in workers’ values: CNBC reports that while membership in unions remains low, most employees support the idea of unionization. This is especially true for the workers categorized as “frontline workers,” who experienced difficult and stressful work environments during the height of the global pandemic. Many of these workers called for better working conditions and wages. This shift only solidified as they faced the effects of inflation.
- The Great Resignation: This reason builds off of the shift in values. Employees are making a mass exodus from certain jobs and industries. Why? Primarily because they are not willing to settle. This shift has given workers the advantage since it created a labor shortage in several industries. This shortage seems to be urging employers and companies to negotiate without pushing back against unionization.
These two factors create a “perfect storm,” as the adage goes. Workers have more desire and need to change and control their conditions at work – and they have the power to do so.
Increasing unions means increasing education
Current events may have created the perfect storm for union support, but keeping workers and union members informed is critical. Workers looking to organize must understand their rights in the workplace, such as their protections against retaliation. Union members should also make sure new or potential members fully understand the rights and responsibilities involved.
There can be a lot of myths about union membership. This is especially true in workplaces where employers may not be entirely supportive of their employees organizing. That is why it is even more important to emphasize education on unionizing in this time of increasing efforts.