Labor unions are groups or clubs of workers and employees who bond together to get good conditions, fair pay, and fair hours for their labor. These unions are usually joined together, and most unions in America are some branch of the largest labor union organization in the United States, the AFL-CIO with thirteen million members.
One of the largest unions is the Teamsters Union, formed in 1903, and perhaps the most contentious, union with 1.3 million members, were expelled from the AFL-CIO, in 1957. The labor organization grew rapidly and secured the important membership of the trucking industry.
Some of the largest unions are: National Education Association of the United States, Service Employees International Union, United Food and Commercial Workers International Union and Communications Workers of America.
According to the U. S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics In 2004, 12.5 percent of wage and salary workers were union members, down from 12.9 percent in 2003. The union membership rate has steadily declined from a high of 20.1 percent in 1983. The public sector also declined from 37.2 percent to 36.4 percent in 2004. The number of union members fell to 15.5 million the past year. Within the public sector, local government workers such as teachers, fire fighters, police officers had the highest union membership rate, 41.3 percent. Among the private sector transportation and utilities had the highest union membership rate, at 24.9, but construction, information and manufacturing industries also had high rates. Among occupational groups, training, education and library occupations and protective service workers had the highest, and farming, fishing, sales and related occupations had to lowest unionization rates in 2004. In 2004,... [continues]
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