Support Growing for Labor Unions by Gen Z and Younger

unions growing in popularity among younger generations

Labor Union Support is growing in Popularity Among Younger Generations in the Workplace

Support is growing for Unionization and threatening Businesses across the nation.  This trend is surprising many HR leaders who want to know… what is behind the movement?

The trends of social media, including TikTok, are being used to galvanize younger workers and increase labor union coordination among workers across the country. Social Media reels in new recruits to spread a 1-sided view of information about worker rights and increase coordination among workers across the United States. For many Millenials, social media is their main medium for news. Gen Z and Millenial generations are more connected through social media, which allows pro-union recruiting to easily take place outside of the workplace. Example of social media reels here.

Human Resources Leaders and Business Leaders need to take note and take proactive steps to keep workers happy. Here are some things to watch out for and tips to curb organizing and prevent employees from seeking extremes.

In a recent Times article they found ”Some of the union activity has occurred at big companies that once seemed immune from organizing drives, like Starbucks, Amazon and Apple. Workers at an Apple store in Maryland voted to unionize in June and Apple workers in an Oklahoma store will vote on union representation in October.” The trend data from NLRB supports the growth of labor unions in the modern workplace. The number of Union formation petitions filed with the National Labor Relations Board, the primary oversight body for union activity, said the number of petitions in the first half of fiscal year 2022 are up 57% over the same time last year. That means 1,174 petitions have been filed so far, compared to 748 filed during the first half of fiscal 2021, according to the NLRB.

This trend is alarming to many business Leaders.  Afterall, Unions were formed years ago to ensure fair wages, benefits and better working conditions for their members. At that time in history, unsafe and harsh working conditions were commonplace in the 1800s. Unions helped to negotiate with businesses and governments on behalf of employees, who either work a particular type of job or in a particular industry. At that time in history, they served a great purpose and forced employer to internally police their behaviors. But are labor unions needed in the luxury environments of the modern workplace?  Some think they are.

Trending Data: 2022 Gallup poll found U.S. approval of labor unions climbed to 71%, up from 68% the year before and up from 64% before the pandemic — the highest level since 1965. A National Society of High School Scholars survey earlier in 2022 of thousands of Gen Z students and workers found the top quality they want most in a workplace is the fair treatment of all employees, beating out location, reputation and employer flexibility.

What can an employer do to prevent unionization? First remember that an Employer cannot make threats, interrogate employees, make promises in exchange for votes against unionization. Additionally, businesses should not interfere with union-organizing activities. One thing that is unique about the new union recruiting methods is that they are often public, online social media based, which could create new definitions to the “spy” tactics defined in previous law cases. In any case, “spy” tactics are not advised. Start with transparency and open communication. Do not have a knee-jerk reaction to fire the employee leading the charge. Instead, start with a good old-fashioned conversation.

4 Strategies to curb Union Organizing:

  • Fair and consistent policies and practices.
  • Open door management policies.
  • Competitive pay and benefits.
  • Employee trust and recognition.

Does your current Staffing agency partner know HR laws to help guide you properly? Agency 8 is also an HR Consulting services provider with certified HR Professionals. We work to help you mitigate risk and run your business right. Contact us to see how Agency 8 can be able to assist you in finding and maintaining the BEST talent so your organization can thrive. Contact us at 832.284.4191 or

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