Waking Up the Unions
Andy Stern, the head of the Service Employees International Union and author of "A Country That Works," has been touring the country to convince workers that unions are essential to our American culture. According to reports in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, "Union membership has dwindled in past decades to fewer than 16 million, or 12.5 percent of the work force, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2005, the median weekly earnings of a union member were $801, compared with $622 for non-union employees, statistics show."
Since his promotion, Stern has led the SEIU and Teamsters union out of the AFL-CIO, the nation's largest union federation. He also helped form the Change to Win Federation, a compilation of several unions and 6 million members.
Industry experts predict that regardless of which union you are with, they need to start promoting new products and services to their members. If they don't, the unions will continue to lose workers. According to the article, Stern said the SEIU will promote things such as cheaper health care and the right to transfer a 401K from job to job.
Some feel that regardless of what is done, unions are on their way out. Stern, on the other hand, refuses to go down without a fight.
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