Radio Commentary

Union Die-Off Continues

ince Las Vegas specifically (and Nevada in general) continues to be a target of vocal—and often violent—union organizing schemes, it’s time to take another look at how unions are doing throughout the nation as well as elsewhere in the world. The news for labor bosses is grim. In Great Britain unionization dropped from 50 percent in 1980 to just 34 percent in 1994. Germany saw a decline as well, ditto France—from 18 to only 9 percent. Unionization in the countries that comprise the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development fell from 46 to 40 percent. Domestically, the story is the same—people are abandoning unions with greater frequency. In 1983, 20.1 percent of American workers were unionized. Today the figure is 14.1 percent, and it’s likely to drop further. Last year the booming economy created 2.6 million jobs. But during those same 12 months the number of union members fell by 159,000. Since 1983, the economy has produced 26 million new jobs, but union membership has fallen by 1.6 million. The numbers can’t be denied—people no longer want unions to speak for them. At one time unions could reasonably be called friends of working men and women. But today that’s hardly the case. Union officials gobble up greater and greater amounts of workers’ pay, and use the money to increase their political influence and give themselves generous salaries and cushy benefits. Joe and Jane Lunchpail are realizing this more every day, and saying no to union representation. Nevada’s workers would be wise to do the same. u


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