Union membership in Minnesota continued to grow in 2021. According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the percentage of working Minnesotans who belong to labor unions increased from 15.8% of the total workforce in 2020 to 16% in 2021. The overall number of union members also increased from 398,000 in 2020 to 416,000 in 2021.
“Working people across Minnesota stood up in 2021 and demanded a voice on the job, better pay & benefits, and safer workplaces,” said Minnesota AFL-CIO President Bill McCarthy. “Through a combination of workers organizing unions at their workplace and others flocking to union jobs, it’s clear that more Minnesotans understand that by speaking up together, they can truly earn a fair return on their work.”
The significant increase in union membership comes in spite of labor laws that were written nearly a century ago that now unfairly favor management during union organizing campaigns. The effort to update these laws in the form of the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act passed the House last year, now remains stalled in the US Senate due to Republican obstruction.
“As we work to rebuild economy and seek justice for working people, the Biden administration and Congress must institute policies—such as the PRO Act, the Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act and other legislation to expand Americans’ freedom to join together in unions,” McCarthy added.