Colorado unions saw increased membership in 2016 despite downward national trends, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics annual report.
The report shows that Colorado union membership went up 1.4% from 8.4% in 2015 to 9.8% in 2016 which amounts to around 44,000 new workers. Nationally, union membership has fallen by 0.4% totaling a loss of 240,000 workers from 2015.
Organizing victories occurred across the various workforce sectors represented by the AFL-CIO:
The International Brother of Electrical Workers Local Union 111 organized DirecTV technicians.
The International Brother of Electrical Workers Local Union 68 signed four new signatory contractors.
United Association of Plumbers Local three signed a new signatory contractor.
SEIU Local 105 organized hundreds of workers, including janitors and security officers across the Denver metro region.
The International Association of Firefighters organized 12 new local unions, and five agencies won the right to collectively bargain.
Unite!HERE Local 23 organized food service workers at Regis University and Westin Hotel workers at the Denver International Airport.
Colorado AFL-CIO Executive director, Sam Gilchrist, was encouraged by the numbers,
“There is simply no substitute for working people bargaining collectively for a fair share of the wealth we help create. When union membership declines, the American Dream slips further away. This increase in Colorado union membership means that our state is moving in the right direction, but there is still more to do. Any elected leader that is serious about making life better for Coloradans must have a plan to level the playing field and protect our right to a union, and working people will hold them accountable to that.”
Colorado was one of only 14 states to see a rise in union membership and one of only four states to see increases above one percent.
Find the Bureau of Labor Statistics full report here.