From the TUC

US unions: the latest youth craze?

10 Jul 2013, By

Well, they’re not in Justin Bieber or Lady Gaga’s league yet, but Harold Meyerson’s analysis of recent opinion poll data on the popularity of unions suggests some interesting demographic trends.

He’s surely right that the overall popularity of unions recovering to pre-crash levels of just above 50% is nothing special. Indeed I’ve always been a bit sceptical that such polls do more than give us comfort in bleak times: UK union popularity seems to move in almost direct contradiction to our strength and attractiveness, so we’re popular when we’re weak but unpopularity doesn’t stop people joining in droves when we’re strong.

But deeper into the article some more interesting facts emerge. The younger people who haven’t been joining unions in recent years are far better disposed to them than older workers. And Meyerson draws attention to the way that the last post-crash generation grew up in a world without strong unions, but built them, the American middle class and a welfare state of sorts.

I particularly *heart* this statement:

“Young people in the early 1930s—a time when union membership collapsed, along with the economy in general—didn’t have much personal exposure to unions either, yet they became the most pro-union generation in American history. What both these generations have in common is a far greater skepticism about the economy in general and a much stronger belief that the economy is rigged to ordinary workers’ disadvantage.”


2 Responses to US unions: the latest youth craze?

  1. Victor Martin Hunt
    Jul 11th 2013, 12:39 am

    I think the combined leadership within the TUC is a damn site smarter today than in the 70,80,90. I do so hope you succeed in this most evil fight today.
    It must be presented more accurately that the Labour Party was born from the pain suffered by 19th & 20th century Trade unionist. How to do this in a new fresh & interesting manner is the key. Obviously we have a new batch of talented youth who may possibly be cultivated.The theme being that the evil of the past lives on ignites the flames of inhumanity today. I happen to believe the religion & greed are two of the core factors & war the catalyst for capitalism the third.I would prefer this to challenge to restore humanity to start in the UK & then on into into Europe & then maybe the USofA.The first step of a journey is the hardest step to take. The combined voice of TUC is where it could be successful.Scotland leads the way in many areas of this new liberation. I was not born in Scotland but in Norfolk,UK.

  2. Mary Cooke
    Jul 14th 2013, 12:03 pm

    I listened to the strong parrying of questions by Frances O’Grady Gen.Sec TUC when asked with regard Unite, the Labour Party and membership fees, this was an interview with her on Saturday 13/7/13, 7-50am the Today programme, bbc 4. The Gen.Sec. TUC spoke of the situation of rich donors hoping possibly of gaining favours when donating money to any political party, building on this point and getting well and truly in to her stride – SHE WAS CUT OFF! No mention by the bbc of engineers trying to gain contact again, the BBC commentator sheepishly said “I think we have lost her” Nobody would be fooled by that!
    Sincerely Mary Cooke, NPC. member.