Union members fall in manufacturing sector

Job losses in the manufacturing sector have led to a slide in union
membership over the past year, according to research by both the Government and
the TUC.

Government figures on trade union trends by Labour Force Survey (LFS) show
there are 44,000 fewer union members in manufacturing than a year ago.

There has been growth in members in sectors such as business services,
public administration and retail, but this does not outweigh the decline in
manufacturing, finance and mining.

The LFS figures, which include unions and staff associations that are not
members of the TUC, show overall union membership is down by 30,000 to
7,550,000 – a fall of 0.4 per cent.

Separate TUC figures also find union membership has dropped overall by
37,000 to 6,685,353 – a fall of 0.5 per cent.

TUC general secretary John Monks, claimed the dip in membership was a blip
and the overall analysis of membership trends show that union membership has
stabilised over the last four years after falling steadily during the 1980s and
early ’90s.

He said: "These small falls are disappointing, but we were careful
never to exaggerate the small increases in previous years, and the picture is
now one of stability after 20 years of decline. The challenge remains to unions
to use that base to recruit and organise."

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