The decline of trade unions across the developed nations is nothing new. In the United States, the proportion of workers in unions fell from a high of 35% in 1954, mostly in the private sector, to 11% in 2016 with nearly half in the public sector. Union density in the UK fell from a high of 55% in 1979 to 25% in 2016, reports “Salon”.
Despite the recent revival of the left in both countries, the days when unions had the power to demand major concessions and win still seem far away. Partly thanks to tough labor lawsand employer aggression, their role has become much more about consultation than domination.