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American Unions Remain Active Despite Declining Membership

Why has union membership declined in recent years? How does the government and employers treat unions? Why were unions formed in the first place? A local industrial relations expert tells us about

American Unions Remain Active Despite Declining Membership

Tom Fudge: Today in San Diego, newspaper headlines have been filled with news of labor disputes involving everyone from grocery workers to college professors. Unions are still strong, and they still hold sway in the economic and political realm. But the story of American unions, over the past fifty years, has been one of decline. Declining membership has been due to many factors, including the loss of traditional factory jobs overseas.

In order to survive, unions are trying to organize a different kind of worker. They've had success in the public arena, leaving some taxpayers to wonder whether unions are working in their interest. The future of unions is hard to know, especially without examining the past.



  • Dr. Jai Ghorpade , emeritus professor of management in the College of Business Administration at SDSU and a specialist in industrial relations.

End Music:   Don't Get Sassy by Ray Brown Trio, from the album Don't Get Sassy (1994)