The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) applies strict rules of conduct to employers during union-organizing campaigns. But whether you choose to accept the union or resist it, you can still exercise your rights effectively. Or, if a union has already won a representation election in your organization, you need to know how to prevent the union from encroaching on your management rights.
Scope of unions today
Union membership has been on a steady decline since the 1950s. The overall percentage of U.S. workers who are members of a union dipped to 11.3% in 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s down from 11.8% in 2011 and is the lowest level since 1935, when the National Labor Relations Act was enacted.
The union membership rate runs much higher for public-sector workers (35.9%) than in the private sector (6.6%). Workers in education, training and library occupations had the highest unionization rate, at 35.4%, in 2012. Sales and related occupations (2.9%) and farming, fishing and forestry (3.4%) had the lowest rates.
Look for labor to continue targeting transportation, construction, manufacturing and service businesses. Plus, unions will push the NLRB to support a “single site” organizing rule, which gives unions an advantage in organizing multiple locations of small businesses.
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