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Union membership down in Michigan


UNDATED (WTVB) - Are you a union worker in Branch County? Your numbers may be dwindling based on the loss of 42,000 union members in Michigan in 2012. The percentage of American workers who belong to unions is the lowest in more than three quarters of a century, dating back to the Great Depression. The Labor Department reports that union membership fell by 400-thousand last year, to eleven-point-three percent. That's down from eleven-point-eight percent of the workforce in 2011. Michigan accounted for about ten percent of the nation’s loss of unionized workers and the Wolverine state fell to the seventh most unionized state, from fifth in 2011. Public sector unions were hardest hit with cities and states cutting back on their workforces. Harley Shaiken, a labor issues professor at Cal-Berkeley said the numbers are not unexpected, but called the figures very grim, reflecting tough attacks on organized labor.