The American union movement has reached a historic milestone—more union members currently work for the government than for private businesses. As a result, the union movement’s priorities have shifted. Because taxes fund government pay and benefits, unions are now pushing for tax increases across the country. The union movement that once campaigned to raise private-sector workers’ wages has transformed into a government union movement that campaigns to raise their taxes.
New Government Labor Movement
The American labor movement marked a historic shift in 2009. For the first time in U.S. history, more union members worked for the government than worked in the private sector. The U.S. Postal Service employs three times as many union members as the domestic auto industry. Table 1 shows union membership in the United States in 2009 and through the first seven months of 2010.