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The 30 ‘Most Powerful’ Unions In America - Where Does Your Union Rank?

Published Monday, January 11, 2021
by Joel Anderson/Yahoo News
The 30 ‘Most Powerful’ Unions In America - Where Does Your Union Rank?

Few things have been as important to the development of a strong Middle Class in America as the Labor Union.

Labor Unions have been an essential piece of the social fabric that helped ensure Workers could have a strong voice in getting paid fair wages, securing important benefits and ensuring safe working conditions.

However, the days of Organized Labor wielding enormous influence have somewhat diminished as Union Memberships continue to shrink in the face of an ever-shifting economy.

From 1983 to 2015, Union Rolls shrank by nearly three million Workers - even as more than 45 million more people joined the workforce, and the proportion of Workers in a Union was cut in half over that same period.

So, what does the face of American Organized Labor look like today?

What Unions still command is the largest Membership base, which allows them to influence public policy and pressure companies into making concessions.

GOBankingRates looked at Union Membership numbers from some 78 different Unions as available through the U.S. Department of Labor and identified that 30 of them still have at least 100,000 members.

Some of them are among the most powerful Unions in the Nation and have led strikes that changed America:

  1. The National Education Association (NEA) - Total Membership: 3,002,516 - Description: Public School Employees including but not limited to teachers, Education Support Professionals, Cafeteria Workers, Bus Drivers, Guidance Counselors, Nurses, Administrative Assistants, Secretaries, Psychologists and Librarians.
  2. Service Employees International Union (SEIU) - Total Membership: 1,918,192 - Description: Hotel, Restaurant and Hospitality Workers; Registered Nurses (RNs), Professional, Technical and Non-Professional Health Care Workers; and Public Employees.
  3. The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) - Total Membership: 1,677,775 - Description: Public School Teachers, RNs, Professional, Technical and Non-Professional Health Care Workers.
  4. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) - Total Membership: 1,389,454 - Description: Truck Drivers, Warehouse Workers and other Trades.
  5. The American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME) - Total Membership: 1,327,379 - Description: Employees of state, county and municipal governments.
  6. The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) - Total Membership: 1,248,117 - Description: Retail Store and Distribution Employees.
  7. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) - Total Membership: 672,551 - Description: Electrical Manufacturing Workers and Electric Utility Workers.
  8. The Communications Workers of America (CWA) - Total Membership: 661,604 - Description: Telecommunication, Customer Service, Broadcasting, Public Sector, Health Care and other Workers.
  9. The United Steelworkers (USW) - Total Membership: 581,810 - Description: Steel Mill Workers and related Trades.
  10. The International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers (IAM) - Total Membership: 573,365 - Description: Miscellaneous Construction Workers, Aircraft Workers and more.

For The Rest Of The List And Rankings, Go To:


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