Features, Municipal Government, National

Union Membership Gains Even in the South

January 23, 2018

By Neal Tepel

Washington DC – Organized labor still provides the best way for workers to get ahead. While New York continues to have the highest percentage of workers in unions, at 23.8 percent union membership increased even in the South.
Although South Carolina contined to have the lowest number of union members the number rose in the Palmetto State. Of the nearly 2 million workers in South Carolina, just 2.6 percent — or roughly 52,000 people — were members of a labor union in 2017, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That compares to 1.6 percent — or 32,000 people — in 2016.

North Carolina remained second-lowest nationally with 3.4 percent of workers belonging to a union, although that number was up from 3 percent a year ago. Other Southern states like Arkansas, Virginia and Georgia also showed union gains.

Recently, drivers for a Charleston trucking firm voted to join the International Brotherhood of Teamsters following complaints over job classification and wages.
The recent labor report shows that, on average, union members continue to earn more than their non-union counterparts nationally. The median weekly earnings for union members was $1,041 in 2017, compared to $829 for those not represented by organized labor.

January 23, 2018

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