Unions in North America are experiencing a resurgence in popularity after a decline in membership. In Canada, the percentage of workers belonging to unions has decreased from 38% in 1981 to 29% last year. However, there has been a recent increase in strikes across various industries, indicating that unions are becoming more assertive. This shift is driven by strong public support for unions and the election of new leadership in major unions such as the Teamsters and United Auto Workers. These unions are advocating for higher wages, shorter workweeks, better benefits, and improved job security. They are employing tactics like rotating strikes to disrupt companies and extend the duration of strikes. In the US, a Gallup poll shows that 67% of Americans approve of unions, citing reasons such as inflation, stagnant pay, rising inequality, and concerns about automation and job insecurity. These issues resonate with workers and contribute to the rise in labor movements. The perception of unions has shifted from skepticism to recognition that they are fighting for issues that affect a wide range of workers. This shift in public mindset supports the increased assertiveness of unions and their ability to mobilize support for their demands.
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