I’m quoted in today’s Investor’s Business Daily on organized labor’s struggle to remain relevant in the private sector, where its numbers have been declining precipitously.
One thing Big Labor is doing is “thinking more strategically,” said Ivan Osorio, labor policy analyst at the free-market Competitive Enterprise Institute. “And in those sectors where they do fight, they are much more aggressive.”
As labor has gotten smaller, it has come to rely more on public-sector unions, CEI’s Osorio notes. According to the BLS, 36.2% of government workers are unionized vs. 7.4% in the private sector. AFSCME, which mainly represents the public sector, gained about 10,000 members last year, Booth said.
That also has helped embolden the labor movement because public-sector unions are less likely to face the kind of pushback that private-sector unions do.
That boldness is paying off. A Big Labor-led effort to target non-union Wal-Mart (WMT) has put the retail giant on the defensive regarding its wages and benefits.
Of course, for background on the ongoing anti-Wal-Mart campaign, check out Zachary Courser’s Issue Analysis, “Wal-Mart and the Politics of American Retail.” As he shows, like unions, the attacks on Wal-Mart are really nothing new.