Since roughly mid-2021, unions have been aggressively searching for to reassert their relevance within the US office. Intensive media protection of high-profile union organizing campaigns at Amazon, Apple, Starbucks, Dealer Joe’s, and different well-known massive corporations has chronicled these efforts, however unions have been onerous at work searching for to prepare workers at employers of all sizes and in various industries and repair sectors. These efforts have been undertaken at a time when union density – the proportion of the workforce represented by a labor union – is at a document low degree. (Union density in 2022 within the non-public sector US workforce was 6.0 p.c.) Knowledge not too long ago launched by the Nationwide Labor Relations Board (NLRB) – the federal administrative company that oversees the connection between workers, employers, and unions – in addition to knowledge from a Bloomberg Legislation evaluation, present the extent of these efforts and their affect on union membership.
The NLRB reported that within the first six months of its 2023 fiscal yr (from October 1, 2022 till March 31, 2023), unions filed 1,200 petitions searching for to signify workers, which was barely extra (by a couple of dozen) than the variety of petitions filed within the previous six month interval, which beforehand had been notable for its dramatic improve over prior durations. Together with a rise in unfair labor apply expenses filed in the course of the first six months of fiscal yr 2023, the NLRB’s case load elevated 14% over the identical interval in its 2022 fiscal yr. The variety of petitions filed within the first half of fiscal yr 2023 mirrors the current surge in union organizing exercise: in fiscal yr 2022, unions filed 2,510 petitions with the NLRB, a rise of 53% from the variety of petitions filed in fiscal yr 2021. If the second half of fiscal yr 2023 matches the primary half, 2,400 petitions could be filed this yr – which might be 700 extra petitions than had been filed simply two years in the past in fiscal yr 2021.
The variety of petitions filed with the NLRB undeniably reveals the substantial improve in current union organizing exercise. However what about precise union success? Has the spike in petitions translated to extra workers choosing union illustration?
In a phrase, sure. Knowledge from an evaluation carried out by Bloomberg Legislation of information filed by unions with the US Division of Labor reveals that a number of unions skilled double-digit share progress of their membership in 2022. For instance, the Worldwide Brotherhood of Teamsters gained greater than 200,000 members – a rise of 20% – in 2022. The Worldwide Longshore and Warehouse Union grew its membership by 11%, including greater than 3,200 members in 2022. Employees United, the union searching for to prepare Starbucks employees, bumped its membership by 10%, choosing up 7,400 new members. General, greater than half of the unions surveyed by Bloomberg Legislation noticed will increase in membership in 2022, supporting that the rise in organizing exercise has been coupled with successes for unions in illustration elections.
Nothing means that this pattern will change anytime quickly. If something, the current successes loved by unions mixed with continued media protection of high-profile organizing drives could end in additional and extra in depth organizing efforts. This being the case, employers whose workers should not at present represented by unions ought to familiarize themselves with the regulation on this space in order that they are often ready to reply, and to reply lawfully, ought to workers discover union illustration. Squire Patton Boggs’ conventional labor relations group can help employers in creating applicable, legally compliant methods, insurance policies, and coaching to organize to reply to any union organizing exercise.