Wall Street Journal (02/15/14) Melanie Trottman; Kris Maher
Volkswagen employees have rejected membership in the United Auto Workers union, which signals that union organizers may have difficulty growing in private companies in the South. Unions represented 11.3% of U.S. workers in 2013, a decline from about 20% in 1983.
Private sector membership stood at 6.7%, while public sector membership topped 35.3%. Unions recently have lost expensive legal battles, and states have laid off public-sector union members, curbed collective-bargaining rights, and adopted right-to-work laws. The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations has begun to partner with outside nonprofit groups and has tried to organize more low-wage service workers.