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Union Membership Drops

Just over 12.6% of the world's estimated workforce of 1.3 billion belong to trade unions, says the International Labour Organization (ILO). Indeed, in all but about 22 of the 92 countries surveyed by the ILO, union membership levels declined in the past decade (1986-1995). The sharpest drops: in central and eastern Europe where the number of union members fell from 21.8 million in 1985 to 14 million in 1995. Union membership fell 25% in Great Britain, lowering the percentage of union workers there to 26%. Just 14% of the U.S. workforce and only 6% of the French workforce are now unionized.

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