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Older photo of men holding signs on strike.
Labor Unions
  1. U.S. Labor Unions in the 1940s
  2. U.S. Unions in the Cold War
  3. Public worker unions in the United States
  4. Decline in Strike Activity in the US
  5. Union Membership Across the United States
  6. Right-to-Work Laws
  7. Types of Unions in the United States
  8. The AFL-CIO
  9. Labor Contracts in the United States
  10. Strikes in the United States
  11. What Happens During a Strike
  12. Long Strikes and Violence
  13. The 1964 Civil Rights Act
  14. Union Campaign Contributions and Political Influence
  15. Unions and Politics
  16. U.S. Unions in the 90s and Today
  17. Important U.S. Labor Leaders: George Meany
  18. Important U.S. Labor Leaders: John L. Lewis
  19. Important U.S. Labor Leaders: Walter Reuther
  20. Important U.S. Labor Leaders: A. Philip Randolph
  21. Important U.S. Labor Leaders: Jimmy Hoffa
  22. Important U.S. Labor Leaders: Caesar Chavez
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People hold signs and picket outside of a store.
In the 1980s, members of the Hawaii State Teachers Association supported striking Safeway workers.
Photo Courtesy of the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics
Union Membership Across the United States
The rate of union membership in the United States has declined steadily since 1983 when it peaked at 20.1%. Today it is a little over 13%. Some blame foreign competition for the loss of union jobs in the industrial sector, especially the steel and automotive industries. Automation also eliminated the need for some workers on assembly lines. In addition, many companies, located in states where unions were powerful, moved their factories to states that had right-to-work laws and few unions. Hawaii, New York, Alaska, New Jersey, and Michigan had the highest rate of union membership--over 20%-- in 2002.
Special Terms: right-to-work laws  |  rate of union membership

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