Governors, Unions Brace for Battle

By Melissa Maynard, Stateline - January 29, 2011

Reflecting on the downward trend, U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis said the current weak job market underscores the need for unions. "As workers across the country continue to face lower wages and difficulty finding work due to the recent recession, these numbers demonstrate the pressing need to provide workers with a voice in the workplace and protect their right to organize and bargain collectively," she said.

Public sector unions have escaped a comparable decline in their ranks, with 36.2 percent of state and local employees still in unions. But an increasingly loud chorus of governors and state legislators may change that. Like Solis, their argument is tied to the need for more and better jobs, but they blame public sector unions for jeopardizing that.

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