Are unions making a comeback?

January 29, 2008
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Weâ??re accustomed to hearing that unions represent a smaller and smaller proportion of the American work force.

Yet, government figures released last week show the first increase in union membership in 24 years, with about 12.1 percent of workers in unions. Thatâ??s still down a long way from the 20.1 percent in 1983, but an uptick nevertheless.

Much of the increase came in construction and health services.

A couple of schools of thought have dominated the debate about unions in recent years.

Unions have lost relevance in an era when companies compete fiercely for knowledge workers, goes one line. The other is line is that workers still want and need unions, but that federal laws stack the deck against organizing.

What do you think? Are unions relevant, and has the reversal in the movement come to an end?
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