Wisconsin Union Activity Bucks National Trend

While recent months and years have seen a relatively rapid growth in the reporting of union activity, some companies have successfully pushed back. For instance, Starbucks (which has seen over 200 stores vote to unionize) combatted union organizing via wage raises and new benefits.

Despite the seemingly significant number of statewide stories on unionization of late, union membership declined in Wisconsin last year. While this continues the general trend since 2010’s Act 10, the drop of 28,000 members (13%) in 2022 is among the highest in recent history. Notably, this is in contrast with national trends, where union membership is up nearly 2% and elections are up about 50%.

Business Takeaway: Companies have varied approaches in pushing back against organizing activities—some more successful than others. While Wisconsin’s union membership numbers continue to drop, it is important to recognize the bigger picture—what is happening nationally, and how might all of this be impacted by the economic forecast? Please let us know what you are hearing and experiencing.