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First Half of 2009 Saw Less Union Elections, but More Union Wins

According to the National Labor Relations Board, during the first half of 2009, union representation elections in the private sector were down almost 28% (from 813 to 588) compared to the same time last year.  However, union victories soared up from 66.5% last year to 73% this year. These figures and the ones below indicate that as the economy remains down and unemployment remains high, the workers who remain employed are turning to unions for protection. Below are some highlights of the election data from the first half of 2009 with comparisons to the first half of 2008.

  • The total number of workers eligible to vote in union elections was down from 55,516 to 31,723.
  • The number of decertification elections (where workers vote to remove a union) were down from 157 to 115.
  • Unions affiliated with the two largest labor federations AFL-CIO and Change To Win each won the same number of elections, and both had comparable win rates: AFL-CIO won 69.3%;  CTW won 67.7%.
  • The union participating in the greatest number of elections was the International Brotherhood of Teamsters with 164. The Teamsters won 70.7% of those elections, up from 56% during the same time last year.
  • The union with the greatest win rate was the International Association of Machinists, winning 85% of its elections.
  • The Services sector had the largest number of elections: 245, with unions winning 75.9% of them.
  • In almost every industry union win rate was 50% or more. The only exception was wholesale where unions won only 27.3%.
  • The industry with the highest union win rate was construction at 85.7%.

 As economic instability continues, union campaign promises sound more appealing to anxious workers.  Thus, employers must take adequate steps to present a consistent union-free message. Brody and Associates regularly advises its clients on union-related matters and provides union-free training. If we can be of assistance in this area, please contact us at info@brodyandassociates.com or 203.965.0560.