Katie Johnston, The Boston Globe:
The ranks of organized labor have been shrinking for decades, and an upcoming Supreme Court decision involving the ability of public-sector unions to collect fees from nonmembers is expected to further sap the movement of much-needed funds.
But signs of life are flashing in unexpected places.
Millennials and professionals are bringing new energy to the movement, especially in New England, where more than half of union members are doctors, lawyers, teachers, architects, and other white-collar employees.
Last year, a third of the 262,000 new union members nationwide were in professional or technical occupations, mostly in the public sector. And more than three-quarters of new members were under age 35, part of a five-year trend of growth among younger workers, according to the Center for Economic and Policy Research.
Workers across many industries are increasingly banding together and standing up against management as part-time and contract work grows, automation amps up, and wages barely budge, labor observers say. Silicon Valley tech workers have started a coalition to unite.