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Alabama’s union membership increased for 2nd year, report finds

There were also increases for workers whose jobs are covered by unions but are not members of unions themselves.

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A new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that union membership increased in Alabama for the second consecutive year in 2023.

The report from BLS indicated that in 2023 of the 2,088,000 workers in Alabama 156,000 were members of unions. This was an increase of 7,000 workers from 2022 when 149,000 were union members out of 2,066,000 workers.

There were also increases for workers whose jobs are covered by unions but are not members of unions themselves. 180,000 workers were represented by unions in 2023 was up from 173,000 in 2022.

Alabama still maintains a lower percentage of union members per state when compared to the national average of 10 percent. Yet, Alabama now has a union membership percentage of 7.5 percent which is higher than surrounding southern states like Georgia and Florida. 

The report comes shortly after workers at a Mercedes Benz plant in Tuscaloosa announced their campaign to join the United Auto Workers (UAW) union. In response to that Gov. Kay Ivey released an op-ed making the case against unionization and claimed the efforts by the workers in Tuscaloosa were due to outside “special interest groups.”

Ivey and the Republican supermajority are opposed to unions. However, the latest data from BLS and efforts by workers in Alabama appear to indicate they believe unionization is beneficial for them.

Patrick Darrington is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected].

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