According to Bloomberg BNA, the union density remained at a historic low of 12.3 percent in 2014 and 2015, as compared to 23.3 percent in 1983. Despite the overall decline, the flat 2015 percentage reflects that unionization gains have kept pace with job growth in the United States. Breaking down the 2015 statistics, the number of workers covered by collective bargaining agreements, regardless of union membership, rose by 289,000 to 16.44 million. The share of unionized government workers dropped slightly from 39.2 percent in 2014 to 39 percent in 2015, but the unionized private sector rate remained at a stable 7.4 percent. The median weekly earnings of full-time unionized workers in 2015 continue to be higher than nonunion workers in the private and government sectors.
Huffington Post editorial staffers voted overwhelmingly in favor of representation by the Writers Guild of America East. Huffington Post is a New York-based online publication that employs about 350 editorial staffers. Several other digital media newsrooms have also recently organized, including Gawker, Vice Media, and Guardian US.
About 95 workers at the think tank Center for American Progress (CAP) will be represented by Local 70 of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers following CAP’s voluntary recognition of the union. Last fall, editorial staffers at CAP’s ThinkProgress political website organized with the Writers Guild of American East.
Loyola University of Chicago non-tenure track faculty in the college of arts and sciences voted 142-82 in favor of union representation by Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 73. Assuming no objections are filed by February 3, the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB or Board) Region 13 may certify SEIU Local 73 as the faculty’s exclusive bargaining representative. However, the university is reportedly considering requesting a review of the regional director’s decision to hold the election due to a religious exemption.
As a part of the United Steelworkers’ (USW) continuing efforts to organize higher education workers, the USW launched a campaign to organize faculty and graduate student employees at the University of Pittsburgh. Other unions also are aggressively campaigning nationwide to organize faculty at colleges and universities.
A small group of medical interpreters and transplant financial coordinators at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia voted 11-1 in favor of unionization. The workers will be included in a larger bargaining unit represented by the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals. Asserting NLRB jurisdiction and ordering the election, an acting regional director rejected a 1972 NLRB decision that had found Temple was a “state-related” university whose hospital employees fell under the jurisdiction of the Pennslyvania Labor Relations Board.
Alliance@IBM, a Communications Workers of America local, announced it will suspend its decades-long organizing efforts at IBM.