More on the Impact of Millennials and Unions

A couple of weeks ago we began to look at the impact Millennials may have on organized labor. The answers were surprising.

In that blog entry, we looked at the successful organizing efforts of employees in electronic publishing, computer, and other technology related industries. Since we do not normally associate union activity with these types of employees, you might wonder what about these groups made them pro-union?

The answer is these employees did not start out being pro-labor. They do share many of the values of organized labor, including concerns about social issues such as income inequality. As a result, several studies indicate the values of the labor movement are attractive to millennials.

One of these is a major study conducted by global professional services provider PwC in 2013. Concerned about difficulty they experienced in retaining younger employees, the company surveyed over 40,000 employees. They concluded younger employees desired greater flexibility at work, a team-oriented culture, transparent compensation and promotion structures, and a better opportunity for a balance between their professional and personal lives.

The PwC study found millennials share concerns for some of the things unions have sought for generations. Can unions connect with these workers to increase their membership and provide support for achieving these goals? Doing so will require unions to get their message to millennials, letting them know why their membership is important, support new types of organizing efforts such as on-line organizing, and ensure the millennial’s desire for transparency and democracy are met.

The very extensive study by PwC is a long but good read. It also supports the goals CALMC has in working with employers, employees, and unions: team based employee engagement, transparency and access to all relevant information, and a commitment to resolving issues relevant to the professional and personal lives of employees. If these goals are of interest to your organization, we can help you achieve them.

About CALMC Blog

Columbus Area Labor-Management Committee is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to involving employers and employees to preserve jobs, resolve workplace issues, and promote labor-management cooperation. Visit our website at
This entry was posted in Communications, Employee Engagement, Employee Involvement, Teamwork and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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