Made in America: Union membership declines in 2016
“Made In America,” is a round-up of state and global manufacturing news.
UNION MEMBERSHIP DECLINES IN 2016, DOWN TO 14.6 MILLION WAGE AND SALARY WORKERS
The union membership rate – the percent of wage and salary workers who were members of unions – was 10.7% percent in 2016, down 0.4 percentage points from 2015, according to recent data by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number of wage and salary workers belonging to unions, at 14.6 million in 2016, declined by 240,000 from 2015. In 1983, the first year for which comparable union data were available, the union membership rate was 20.1% and there were 17.7 million union workers.
In 2016, 7.1 million employees in the public sector belonged to a union, compared with 7.4 million workers in the private sector. The union membership rate for public-sector workers (34.4%) was substantially higher than the rate for private-sector workers (6.4%). Within the public sector, the union membership rate was highest for local government (40.3%), which includes employees in heavily unionized occupations such as teachers, police officers, and firefighters. In the private sector, industries with high unionization rates included utilities (21.5%), transportation and warehousing (18.4%), telecommunications (14.6 percent), construction (13.9%), and educational services (12.3%).
Among occupational groups, the highest unionization rates in 2016 were in education, training and library jobs (34.6%) and in protective service occupations (34.5%). The lowest unionization rates, all below 4%, were in farming, fishing, and forestry sales, computer and mathematical jobs, and food preparation and serving related occupations.
TRANSCANADA RESUBMITS APPLICATION FOR ‘PRESIDENTIAL PERMIT’ TO RESTART KEYSTONE PIPELINE
Two days after President Donald Trump signed an executive order restarting the $8 billion Keystone XL Pipeline that will connect oil production in Canada to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast, TransCanada Corp. on Thursday (Jan. 26) announced it has submitted a Presidential Permit application to the U.S. Department of State for approval of the 1,100-mile project. TransCanada operates a network of natural gas pipelines that extends more than 56,100 miles, tapping into virtually all major gas supply basins in North America. President Obama signed an executive order in November halting the project in November after a lengthy State Department review.
Independent forecasts by the U.S. Department of State estimate that Keystone project will support tens of thousands of direct and indirect jobs and associated income during construction and contribute approximately $3.4 billion to U.S. GDP. TransCanada, which has employees in 38 U.S. states where the company has operations, said it is committed to working productively with all stakeholders and tribal leaders as the project moves forward. The Canadian oil and gas giant said the project will benefit American workers, their families and the communities they live in as well as the U.S. economy.
GE ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR ADVANCED MANUFACTURING EDUCATION PROGRAM, WILL INVEST $10 MILLION
Industrial and manufacturing giant GE is now accepting applications from schools for the GE Additive Education Program (AEP). GE said it will invest $10 million over the next five years in two educational programs, to develop pipelines of future talent in additive manufacturing. Enabling educational institutions to provide access to 3D printers will help accelerate the adoption of additive manufacturing worldwide, the company said. Applications for initial selections in both programs will be accepted until Feb. 28, 2017, enabling printers to be available to schools and universities beginning Fall 2017. Additional applications will be accepted in 2018.
As one of the world’s largest manufacturers and innovators, GE’s Brilliant Factories push combines lean and advanced manufacturing, 3D printing and digital maturity to achieve the company’s main goal of maximizing productivity. GE has invested approximately $1.5 billion in manufacturing and additive technologies at GE’s Global Research Center (GRC), developed additive applications across six GE businesses and is pioneering services applications across the company. GE engineers also recently produced a GEnx jet engine model using an advanced 3-D printing technique.