According to an analysis by Bloomberg Law Daily Labor Report, the Teamsters Union lost almost 65,000 members in 2019, the largest decline in the union’s membership in 20 years. The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) added almost 45,000 members.

The analysis was based on a review of recently released annual LM-2 reports filed by unions with the U.S. Department of Labor. (The LM-2 reports contain detailed financial and other information about the union and can be accessed on the DOL’s website. For most unions, the deadline for filing the financial reports is March 30, but the DOL has said the deadline will be extended if a union has a reason related to COVID-19.)

Besides the SEIU, the Laborers International Union, and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) also added members; whereas the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, the United Steelworkers Union, and the American Federation of Government Employees lost members.

Union representation in the private sector in 2019 was at 6.2%, an all-time low.

Despite these statistics, it is important that employers not ignore the threat of successful union organizing. Union membership may have decreased, but unions are still winning most representation elections at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). In 2019, according to NLRB records, unions filed 995 representation petitions and won 745 elections, an enviable 75% winning percentage.

Please contact a Jackson Lewis attorney with any questions.

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Photo of Howard M. Bloom Howard M. Bloom

Howard M. Bloom is a Principal in the Boston, Massachusetts, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He has practiced labor and employment law representing exclusively employers for more than 36 years.

Mr. Bloom counsels clients in a variety of industries on labor law issues.

Howard M. Bloom is a Principal in the Boston, Massachusetts, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He has practiced labor and employment law representing exclusively employers for more than 36 years.

Mr. Bloom counsels clients in a variety of industries on labor law issues. He trains and advises executives, managers and supervisors on union awareness and positive employee relations, and assists employers in connection with union card-signing efforts, traditional union representation and corporate campaigns, and union decertification campaigns. He also represents clients at the National Labor Relations Board in connection with bargaining unit issues, objections and challenges, as well as unfair labor practice investigations and trials. Mr. Bloom also has been the spokesperson at countless first and successor contract collective bargaining negotiations, and regularly advises on collective bargaining agreement administration issues, including grievance/arbitration issues.

Mr. Bloom has appeared before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, several U.S. District Courts, the National Labor Relations Board, the Massachusetts Labor Relations Commission, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.

Mr. Bloom speaks frequently to employer groups on a wide range of labor and employment law topics. He also has written extensively on labor and employment law for a variety of publications, including New England Business magazine, The Boston Globe and the Boston Business Journal. He also is editor of and a frequent contributor to the Jackson Lewis Labor & Collective Bargaining Blog.

While attending law school, he was the Executive Editor of The Advocate: the Suffolk University Law School Journal and President of the Student Bar Association.

Mr. Bloom is a diehard baseball fan. His first book, The Baseball Uncyclopedia: A Highly Opinionated Myth-Busting Guide to the Great American Game, was published in February 2006.

Photo of Jonathan J. Spitz Jonathan J. Spitz

Jonathan J. Spitz is a principal in the Atlanta, Georgia, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. and co-leader of the firm’s Labor Relations practice group.