BLS: Workers of Color in 2022 Gained Union Members While Whites Lost Them 

School bus drivers in Raleigh strike in 2022 (The News & Observer)

Folks, 

Greetings from the Burgh, where Im slowly regaining my strength after a few weeks of illness. Donate again to our fund as I continue a struggle with Long Covid. 

BLS: Workers of Color Gained Union Members While Whites Lost Them 

While much of the media (even, in the left media) focuses largely on the organizing efforts of white workers in coffee shops, universities jobs, and media outlets, BLS statistics released today showed that it actually black workers in less-covered like state & local government in the South that are driving union membership gains. 

The report showed in 2022 that the labor movement gained 200,000 net union members. However, as more workers returned to the economy, the overall percentage of workers in unions decreased from 11.6% to 11.3%. 

“The entire increase in unionization in 2022 was among workers of color—workers of color saw an increase of 231,000, while white workers saw a decrease of 31,000,” wrote the Economic Policy Institute in a press release today. “Of all major racial and ethnic groups, Black workers continue to have the highest unionization rates, at 12.8%. This compares with 11.2% for white workers, 10.0% for Latinx workers, and 9.2% for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) workers”. 

The biggest areas of growth this year for the labor movement were state government (+99,000), durable goods manufacturing (+76,000), arts, entertainment, and recreation (+62,000), and  transportation and warehousing (+46,000) 

The states with the largest increases in union membership are Alabama (40,000), Maryland (40,000), Ohio (52,000), Texas (72,000), and California (99,000).

For a more in-depth breakdown of statistics, check out EPI. 

Biden Administration Denounced UK Anti-Strike Law Push 

In the United Kingdom, the conservative government of Sunak is trying to pass a law that would greatly prohibit the right of union members to go on strike. The efforts come as Britain faces an unprecedented wave of strikes known as “the Winter of Discontent”. 

Now, the Biden Administration in denouncing these attempts (even though, Biden just imposed a contract on railroad workers, who wanted to strike). 

“I would not support anything that would take away from workers,said US Labor Secretary Marty Walsh in an interview with the BBC. ” 

For more, check out the BBC. 

Alright folks, I’m feeling a bit sick still, and gonna rest, but will have more tomorrow. Donate to help us covering the labor beat. Please, if you can, sign up as one of our 739 recurring donors today. 

Love & Solidarity, 

Melk 

About the Author

Mike Elk
Mike Elk is an Emmy-nominated labor reporter, who covered everything from the Brazilian labor movement to major league baseball and spent years covering union organizing in the South for The Guardian. In 2015, he used his NLRB settlement from being fired illegally for union organizing at Politico to start the crowd-funded Payday Report. He lives in his hometown of Pittsburgh and speaks Portuguese which he learned in journalism school in Rio de Janerio. Email: [email protected]

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