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Hawaii union membership rises despite national decline

By Star-Advertiser Staff

LAST UPDATED: 12:23 p.m. HST, Jan 23, 2013

Hawaii’s unionization rate rose in 2012 even as union membership decline nationally, according to a report released today.

Union members made up 21.6 percent of Hawaii’s workforce last year, up from 21.5 percent in 2001, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. The national unionization rate fell from 11.8 percent to 11.3 percent, the lowest level since the 1930s.

The national decline in membership was led by losses among public sector workers in cash-strapped states, cities, counties and towns.

Total union membership in Hawaii rose by 3,000 workers to 116,000. Hawaii’s 2012 unionization rate was the third highest in the country. New York topped the list at 23.2 percent, followed by Alaska at 22.4 percent.

Nationally, unions saw losses in the private sector, even as the economy expanded modestly. The private sector unionization rate fell from 6.9 percent to 6.6 percent.

Unions have steadily lost members since their peak in the 1950s, when about one of every three workers was in a union.

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frontman wrote:
What a shock...maybe America is waking up, maybe?
on January 23,2013 | 04:46AM
frontman wrote:
When 46% of Hawaii workers work for the feds, state, city or county.........it's no shock Hawaii numbers stay high.
on January 23,2013 | 11:54AM
tiwtsfm wrote:
Finally, some good news!
on January 23,2013 | 04:54AM
Mythman wrote:
Unions used to be way for workers to become as happy as owners and bosses - a way to dampen down the misery index. Less union members means more misery. More misery means more government, pandering to the miserable by promising the false promise of happiness through government. Happiness remember started off being something only bosses possessed. Is the answer for the miserable to become happy by becoming their own bosses? Something to consider.
on January 23,2013 | 05:01AM
aunty wrote:
Union management hasn't put the members first in awhile (or listened to them), it is a power trip for them to see who's one is bigger and the members got screwed.
on January 23,2013 | 06:04AM
Publicbraddah wrote:
Just look at HSTA where the leadership never included teachers in the decision making process even tho they represented the teachers. Union members need a watchdog to monitor their own leaders.
on January 23,2013 | 07:16AM
noheawilli wrote:
Yes and let teachers choose if they want to be in the HSTA, they only make the money tthey do because teachers are forced to pay membership if you want to teach in a public school. Maybe the union would be a bit more responsive if they had to earn the money.
on January 23,2013 | 06:15AM
cojef wrote:
The sweat-shop days of yore has disappeared or is almost non-existent and workers rights have progressed to a point where there it is irrevelent, and so the only area remaining is raises or increase in renumerations. This area of negotiations are primarily in the realm of work merit. Unions are not necessary, individual work ethics should be the prime criteria to determine whether one is entitled to a raise in pay. A very contentious issue with the HSTA.
on January 23,2013 | 06:39AM
96706 wrote:
Then it's high time that union leaders take a pay cut and do their job which is to TAKE CARE AND LISTEN TO THEIR MEMBERS who PAY DUES.
on January 23,2013 | 08:55AM
primo1 wrote:
Never happen...
on January 23,2013 | 12:43PM
hawaiikone wrote:
While union mismanagement and over the top demands have caused their own demise, and rightfully so, it would be wise to remember once their influence is gone the pressures for profit will eventually force their resurrection. Ask any Walmart or similar employee what is happening in their world, and you'll get a glimpse of a changing reality. So, big business, enjoy your respite from accountability, but recognize that your own greed assures the eventual return of organized labor.
on January 23,2013 | 10:32AM
AhiPoke wrote:
"Hawaii union membership rises despite national decline" Does anyone need a reminder as to why our economy is in the tank and will not get better any time soon?
on January 23,2013 | 11:37AM
primo1 wrote:
Very true...a sad statement on the (economic) state of our state...
on January 23,2013 | 12:39PM
Bdpapa wrote:
Any rise in employment will cause a rise in Union membership. Workers are forced to join the Union.
on January 23,2013 | 01:44PM
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