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Union Power Grew Significantly in 2023

In an uplifting update from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the AFL-CIO, union membership experienced a notable rise in 2023, with the BLS reporting an overall increase of 139,000 members in union ranks. This growth reflects a broader trend of workers across different industries and sectors advocating for better wages, better benefits, and safer, fairer workplaces. Union membership in the private sector increased by 191,000 members, with a majority of new members under the age of 45.

The surge in union membership can be attributed to successful negotiations that led to double-digit wage increases for more than 900,000 union members last year. AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler highlighted the growing frustration among workers with substandard working conditions and the escalating momentum toward unionization, despite ongoing challenges from union-busting efforts by major corporations.

Polling data shows that 71% of Americans support unions, the highest level in nearly 60 years, with 88% of young people showing support for unions. The push for unionization is making strides despite significant opposition, including extensive spending on union-busting tactics by corporations and targeted campaigns from CEOs.

As aviation safety professionals and part of the labor movement, our collective strength is growing as part of a national movement towards greater worker representation and bargaining power. This progress signals a promising future for labor rights and underscores the critical role of NATCA and fellow unions in advocating for fair and dignified working conditions.

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