The pandemic accelerated a trend that has plagued private-sector unions for decades and public-sector unions for the past decade: declining membership. In recent years, union membership losses mounted, even as worker shortages during the COVID lockdowns gave employees new leverage in the workplace, and despite a recent Gallup poll showing that Americans’ favorable view of labor unions has hit a nearly six-decade high.
Unions and their allies blame their continuing membership losses on GOP laws and policies that have made it hard to organize workplaces. “[T]here’s a war on organizing, collective bargaining, unions, and workers,” President Biden’s campaign literature declared back in 2020. “Republican governors and state legislatures across the country have advanced anti-worker legislation to undercut the labor movement and collective bargaining.”
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