The Strike Returns

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Bloomberg agree: 2023 was the biggest strike year in decades.  

Reality Check

Labor professor Gordon Lafer can be relied on to tell it straight. Was there something different about the strike upsurge of 2023? We asked.

U.S. union membership hits new low: 10.0%

That’s down just a hair from 2022, when it was 10.1% according to the most recent annual report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

2023 in labor

Here are some of last year’s most important developments for organized labor and working people in Oregon, Washington and nationwide.

The rest of the story

Since the start of 2023, we’ve reported almost 400 stories - here, we check in on what’s happened since we last reported on some of them.

Decision nears on Kroger-Albertsons merger

If Biden’s FTC approves it, a combination of Kroger and Albertsons would create a near-monopoly. The two of them own 40 grocery chains in all.

Hot labor summer: Hype, or a real shift in mood?

Strikes are way up. Union approval is at a 57-year high. And yet as a percent of the workforce unions are at the lowest level since the '20s.

Union 101: What is a union?

At its most basic, a union is just a group of workers that takes action together to promote their common interests.

ECONOMY: Inflation drops to 4.9% 

Though high by some measures, it’s the lowest it’s been since June 2021, and well below the recent peak of 9.1% in June 2022.

Big strikes creep up again in 2022

At least 23 major work stoppages broke out last year, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Feb. 22—up from 16 the previous year.

Lessons from the picket line

Labor’s ultimate weapon is rarely used today. So we asked readers who’ve been on strike: What’s it like? Three of them shared their stories.

Union membership continues fall as percentage of U.S. workforce

Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 10.1% of U.S. workers were union members in 2022, the lowest level on record.

Why have prices been rising so much?

And why is the Federal Reserve focused on holding down wages, when it’s prices that are driving inflation?

2022: The rest of the story

Since the start of 2022, we’ve reported over 400 stories - here, we check in on what’s happened since we last reported on some of them.

3 billionaires own more than bottom half of Oregonians

Oregon’s three billionaires hold about $53 billion in wealth, while the bottom half of all Oregonians own about $27 billion.

Union membership worth $1.3 million over lifetime

The $1.3 million difference was greater than the difference between those who did and didn’t attend college.

Amazon Labor Union: ‘a marathon, not a sprint’

Leaders of the new union were the guests of honor at the annual Portland Jobs with Justice dinner this month.

Poll shows union approval now at a 57-year high

In this year's Gallup poll,  71% of respondents said they approve of labor unions, and 40% felt union membership was "extremely important."

Best state in the nation for workers? Oregon

Washington is a close third, according to a recent report released by the global antipoverty nonprofit Oxfam.

Young workers are much less secretive about pay

When it comes to openness about how much money they make, Gen Z is all about pay transparency. The Baby Boom generation, not so much.