Individual Unions

 These ribbons are from labor unions. The red white and blue sides were worn on Labor Day, the 4th of July, and holiday parades, and the black side for funerals. Some are for carpenters, mechanics, and Longshoremen.

                                                                                        Photo Credit: Kheel Center, Cornell University

This data reports membership numbers for national and international unions. We consider a union to be part of our study if it maintains collective bargaining in more than one state and existed for five or more years.  Some unions have existed for longer than our study’s duration, while others are short-lived.  Unions vary in size, ranging from over 1,000,000 to fewer than 5,000.  Some operate only within one state, some are national in scope, and still others international.  Unions differ on a number of dimensions. A few unions obtained very high union density in their respective industries, while others represented very small proportions of all industry workers. Unions vary on their tendency towards democratic practices vs. towards oligarchy, their strike propensity, and their political orientations.  Some are more effective than others in delivering collective bargaining gains.