While everyone is watching the meltdown over in the now ancient swampland, a little-seen story ran in the Biz section of the New York Times that is ......... monumental. SEIU may be rubbing their grubby, collectivist hands together, but statists don't need unions. It's only a matter of time. Keep it up, keep killing the golden goose of private industry.
Add this to this outrageous factoid: Federal employees making salaries of $100,000 or more jumped from 14% to 19% of civil servants during the recession's first 18 months — and that's before overtime pay and bonuses are counted. Federal workers are enjoying an extraordinary boom time — in pay and hiring — during a recession that has cost 7.3 million jobs in the private sector.
Most U.S. Union Members Are Working for the Government, New Data Shows
For the first time in American history, a majority of union members are government workers rather than private-sector employees, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced on Friday.
In its annual report on union membership, the bureau undercut the longstanding notion that union members are overwhelmingly blue-collar factory workers. It found that membership fell so fast in the private sector in 2009 that the 7.9 million unionized public-sector workers easily outnumbered those in the private sector, where labor’s ranks shrank to 7.4 million, from 8.2 million in 2008…
According to the labor bureau, 7.2 percent of private-sector workers were union members last year, down from 7.6 percent the previous year. That, labor historians said, was the lowest percentage of private-sector workers in unions since 1900.
Among government workers, union membership grew to 37.4 percent last year, from 36.8 percent in 2008…
The overall unionization rate edged lower, to 12.3 percent last year from 12.4 percent in 2008.
According to the labor bureau, median weekly earnings for full-time unionized workers were $908 last year, compared with $710 for workers not represented by unions. The bureau attributed this difference not just to unionization but also to variations by occupation, industry and company size.
Notwithstanding the recession, government employment grew last year, inching up 16,000, to 22,516,000, according to the bureau.
Fred Siegel, a visiting professor of history at St. Francis College in Brooklyn and a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a conservative research organization, said, “There were enormous political ramifications” to the fact that public-sector workers are now the majority in organized labor.
“At the same time the country is being squeezed, public-sector unions are a rising political force in the Democratic Party,” he said. “They depend on extra money for the public sector, and that puts the Democrats in a difficult position. In four big states — New York, New Jersey, Illinois and California — the public-sector unions have largely been untouched by the economic downturn. In those states, you have an impeding clash between the public-sector unions and the public at large.” …
Noting that union members generally have higher earnings, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis said in a statement: “As workers across the country have seen their real and nominal wages decline as a result of the recession, these numbers show a need for Congress to pass legislation to level the playing field to enable more American workers to access the benefits of union membership. This report makes clear why the administration supports the Employee Free Choice Act,” a bill that would make it easier to unionize.” …
Sweetness and Light adds:
Even the Soviet Union saw that that unions were unnecessary when everyone worked for the state.
The only real reason for them in this country, is to create political slush funds – for the Democrat Party.
Something government workers would not otherwise be allowed to do.