U.S: Union influence grew despite slight drop in membership in 2018

by Mark Gruenberg

Peoples World | January 22, 2019

Union influence grew despite slight drop in membership in 2018

The teachers’ strike currently underway in LA is cited as just one example of the growing militancy and influence of the labor movement. | Ringo H.W. Chiu/AP

WASHINGTON—Union membership declined slightly from 2017 to 2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Using calculations from the Current Population Survey – a scientifically selected rolling sample of 60,000 households – BLS calculated there were 14.744 million union members last year, down 73,000 from the year before. Union density in 2018 was 10.5 percent

Read More »


U.S: Union membership drops to 16.4 million in 2018

by Heidi Shierholz

Peoples World | January 18, 2019

The number of American workers represented by a labor union ticked down last year, extending a decades-long trend.

New data on union membership from the Bureau of Labor Statistics released on Friday showed 16.38 million unionized workers in 2018, down from 16.44 million in 2017. However, because employment of wage and salary workers grew by 1.6 percent between 2017 and 2018, the share of workers represented by a union declined by a more significant amount, from 11.9 percent to 11.7 percent.

In the private sector, the number of workers represented by a union ticked up slightly (+18,000). But due to the 1.7 percent increase in employment in the private sector, the share of private sector workers represented by a union declined, from 7.3 percent to 7.2 percent.Read More »

Life of Labour: Farm Crisis, Death on the Job and Precarious Livelihoods

by Venkat T., Srividya Tadepalli & Thomas Manuel

The Wire | January 16, 2019

Agricultural crisis

Income support and interest free loans on the cards?

Working at a feverish pitch since the electoral debacle in three major states, the NDA government has proposed further schemes for the welfare of the agricultural sector. The agriculture ministry, along with the NITI Aayog, is working on a proposal that will provide income support as well as further interest subsidy to address the growing crisis in the agricultural sector.

Read More »

India: Kerala’s Women Workers Have Won the ‘Right to Sit’, But Their Struggle Is Far From Over

by Muhammed Sabith

The WireThe Wire | January 14, 2019

Kannur: “We now have more stools in the shop than we really need,” a saleswoman at a prominent textile shop in Kannur said in response to how the new labour law passed by the Kerala assembly has changed her workplace environment.

The Kerala Shops and Commercial Establishments (Amendment) Act, 2018, which was passed in December, guarantees improved working conditions in commercial shops.

Read More »

Millions to strike across India against Modi’s neoliberal policies

Morning Star | January 07, 2019

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi leaves 10 Downing Street, London, in April 2018

MILLIONS are set to walk out across India tomorrow as a two-day national strike begins against the neoliberal policies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s right-wing regime.

Centre of Indian Trade Unions (Citu) general secretary Tapan Sen said: “Public-sector employees, unorganised sector workers, port and dock workers and bank and insurance employees are going to observe the nationwide protest against the growing economic crisis, price rises and acute unemployment.”Read More »

Iranian trade unionist demands debate over torture

Morning Star | January 07, 2019

IRANIAN trade unionist Esmail Bakhshi challenged a government official to a live televised debate over the use of physical and psychological torture in prisons yesterday.

In an Instagram post he addressed Iran’s Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi demanding to know why he was tortured “to the verge of death” after he was arrested for taking strike action at the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Factory.Read More »