A 2011 Ford Focus at the Michigan Assembly Plant.
Things haven’t been going well for the United Auto Workers Union in recent years. The maker has not only had to grant significant concessions to Detroit’s Big Three automakers, but membership has been steadily declining – the result of the Motor City’s decline as well as the impact of productivity gains.
After years of decline, however, things may be turning around. The UAW has filed its annual report with the U.S. Labor Department, showing the first increase in membership in recent memory – though the union’s rolls remain but a fraction of their one-time peak.
The UAW’s 2010 LM-2 report shows membership increasing from 355,191 in 2009 to 376,612 in 2010. But that’s still down by nearly half from 2001, when membership stood at 701,818. The long-influential UAW’s rolls peaked in 1979, when it counted 1.53 million dues-paying members.
“We are pleased that our membership increased in 2010 by 21,000,” said UAW President Bob King. “This increase is a reflection of new organizing by the UAW, the recovery of the domestic auto industry and UAW members who won a first contract during the year. We hope to continue this growth in 2011 and beyond, as we fight to win a more fair and democratic process for workers to organize unions in the United States,” he said.