A report released by the Bureau of National Affairs on October 29, 2010 shows unions participated in 221 more representation elections during the first half of 2010 than the same period in 2009, but union victories decreased statistically. According to the report, "unions won 69.2% of the 812 private sector elections held in the first six months of 2010, compared to 72.8% of 591 elections held in the same time period last year."

Trends and Highlights

Notably, the report identified the following trends and highlights:

  • CTW out-organizes AFL-CIO: The Change to Win Federation (CTW) organized more workers than its rival, the AFL-CIO. CTW-affiliated unions organized 13,415 workers during the first half of 2010. By comparison, the AFL-CIO organized 11,875 workers.
  • Most Active Unions: The Teamsters led all unions, participating in 217 elections and winning 59.9% of the time. The SEIU organized the most workers (5,833) and won almost 70% of its elections.
  • Service Sector Focus: Over 40% of all representation elections during the first half of 2010 occurred in the service sector, including healthcare, with unions winning 72% of those elections.
  • More Manufacturing Victories: For only the third time since 1990, unions won more than 50% of the elections in which they participated in the manufacturing sector.
  • Unions Target Smaller Bargaining Units: Unions continue to target smaller bargaining units. Approximately 67% of all elections occurred in bargaining units with less than 50 workers.
  • Decertification Elections: The number of decertification elections held in the first half of 2010 decreased slightly, although unions continue to lose the majority of these elections (65%).  

With the NLRB advancing a pro-union agenda, the up-tick in union activity, including organizing campaigns, is likely to continue.