In Colorado at least, union membership is growing

Reports on the death of unions are greatly exaggerated. At least in Colorado.

The latest Bureau of Labor Statistics report shows union membership jumped from 8.4 percent of the workforce in 2015 to 9.8 percent last year.

The Colorado AFL-CIO says that increase equates to about 44,000 more members.

"When union membership declines, the American Dream slips farther away." Colorado AFL-CIO executive director Sam Gilchrist said in a statement. "This increase in Colorado union membership means that our state is moving in the right direction, but there is still more to do. Any elected leader that is serious about making life better for Coloradans must have a plan to level the playing field and protect our right to a union, and working people will hold them accountable to that."

The AFL-CIO laid out its legislative agenda at the state Capitol last week. Its list included supporting equal pay, parental leave for school activities and curbs on litigation on construction defects. The AFL-CIO also defended the state health care exchange.

Nationally, however, organized labor lost ground last year, down 0,4 percent from 2015 to 10.7 percent, a decline of about 240,000 workers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The survey of 60,000 households indicated that median weekly earnings for union members was $1,004 to $802 earned by non-union workers.

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