Unions are turning to social media more and more in an effort to expand their ranks. Twitter, in particular, is a platform big labor is utilizing in hopes of spurring interest among younger workers, according to a new report from Bloomberg BNA. Unions increasingly are using the platform to launch or help further unionization campaigns.
According to the report, “And unions need more young workers to fill their ranks if they’re going to survive. Unions did see a bump in membership for younger workers in 2017, but membership rates are still highest among workers aged 55 and older, according to Bloomberg Law data. That potentially leaves organized labor with shrinking ranks as members retire.” Recently released data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics supports that notion.
Aside from unionization efforts, unions are using social media to mount public pressure on employers to pay higher wages and benefits. In essence, the platforms are being utilized, in some circumstances, like a virtual picket line.
Of course, employers have the ability to communicate with both their employees and customers via social media as well – and many do. We’ll see if social media or other new strategies can reverse organized labor’s decline over the past several decades.
Recently recognized as one of the top under-40 labor lawyers in the nation by Law360, David J. Pryzbylski’s interest in labor relations began early in high school, having grown up next to several of the largest steel mills in the world. Today, David is a Partner in Barnes & Thornburg LLP’s Labor & Employment Department. Building on his interest in labor relations, he concentrates a large portion of his practice on assisting employers with traditional labor matters, including collective bargaining; work stoppages; arbitrations; union avoidance training and strategies; union representation elections; unfair labor practice charges; contract administration; and various other labor relations issues.