Union membership has been falling for decades. In 1983, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that 17.7 million Americans carried a union card, about 20.1% of the working-age population.
By last year, that percentage had dropped to 11.3%.
But as far as union membership has fallen, organized labor’s once-preferred tactic for gainingconcessions has plunged even farther.
In 1983, there were 81 major work stoppages, which the BLS defines as strikes or lockouts involving at least 1,000 workers and lasting at least one shift. Last year, there were 15.
One possible reason for the steep decline: More union members now work for the government, and they’re often prohibited by law from striking.
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