Union membership is at a 97-year low. In the past year, their ranks fell to just over 11 percent of the workforce nationally, with sharp drops in places like Wisconsin and Indiana. And, as you may remember, those states had some pretty dramatic political standoffs over unions.
But turn to California and you get a sunnier outlook. That's because, unlike the most of the nation, union membership grew last year in California by more than 100,000 people.
One reason for the increase is California's high population of Latinos. Harley Shaiken, professor at UC Berkeley specializing in labor history, joins the show to explain why California's unions are still going strong.