There has been much talk in recent years about Big Labor, some of it warranted and some of it malicious; but almost no one has paid any attention to the scores of small unions which, quietly and persistently, continue to struggle for an improvement in the conditions of American workers. Often it is a struggle against unequal odds.
Union strength in America is concentrated in manufacturing, mining, construction, transport and public utilities. Of the 2.8 million in transport and the 2.4 million in construction eighty per cent are organized. Seventy-five per cent of American miners carry union cards. But of the twenty-six million people in wholesale, retail, finance and the services industries, as well as in government, only 1.7 million—perhaps seven per cent—are union members. Of the nation’s agricultural workers less than one-half of one per cent are in unions.
What makes this picture even more unfavorable for the union movement is the consistent shift of t...
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