Twitter Chat: What do unions have to offer today’s workers?

BY Bridget Shirvell  March 3, 2014 at 3:56 PM EST
(Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

PBS NewsHour holds live Twitter chats each Thursday from 1 to 2 p.m. EST. Join @NewsHour on Twitter using the hashtag #NewsHourChats. Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Union membership  in the United States has been on a decline for decades. In 1983, there were 17.7 million union workers or 20.1 percent of workers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2013, there were 14.5 million union workers or 11.3 percent.

Earlier this year, employees at a Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee voted against joining the United Auto Workers union. Had the plan been successful, it would have been the first organization of workers at a foreign automaker in the South. But it’s failure calls into question the future of organized labor.

In this week’s #NewsHourChats we’ll discuss unions in the United States.

  • What do you know about unions?
  • How do unions play a role in your life, if at all?
  • How do modern unions differ from the early days of organized labor?
  • What do unions have to offer today’s workers?
  • What are the arguments against unions?
  • What rights and/or work benefits can be attributed to union actions?
  • Why are unions declining?

Join PBS NewsHour on Twitter, March 6 from 1 to 2 p.m. EST for #NewsHourChats and let us know what you think.