While the official percentage of unionized workers in America is cited as 11.3 percent, the AFL-CIO says that the labor movement is much larger than that percentage reflects.
The labor movement is not limited to union membership, AFL-CIO spokespersons say, and, in fact, an article in American Prospect magazine supports that view. According to the article, a new group of labor activists is emerging in America. Called “alt-labor” activists, these workers, include striking fast food workers, Walmart employees, day laborers, restaurant workers, home health care providers, taxi drivers, domestic workers, and even some college athletes who now are requesting union representation. These workers don’t yet pay union dues and aren’t yet covered by a contract. Nevertheless, these workers are leveraging power in the workplace and are seeking the benefits normally associated with unions—increased wages and collective bargaining.
The influence of these “alt-activists,” the American Prospect magazine says, can be seen in President Obama’s recent decision to call for an increase in the minimum wage.