LATINO VOICES
01/28/2013 05:43 pm ET | Updated Mar 01, 2013

Can Latinos Save Labor Unions? (VIDEO)

Facing an onslaught of anti-union legislation and the pressure of outsourcing, union membership plunged to its lowest level last year since 1916, according to The New York Times.

But there's a bright spot for unions in all that bad news: Latino membership is skyrocketing.

As Associate Editor for HuffPost Los Angeles Kathleen Miles notes in a recent piece:

Unions lost a record-breaking 547,000 white members in 2012. Meanwhile, membership increased among other races -- particularly Latino. In 2012, unions gained 156,000 new Latino members, 82,000 new black members and 45,000 new Asian members, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data sent to The Huffington Post.

With manufacturing jobs moving overseas, labor unions have turned to Latinos working in sectors outside of traditional union strongholds, such as carwash workers and home health care workers, Miles says in an interview with HuffPost Live.

According to Chuck Rocha, a labor organizer and Director of The Latino Project PAC:

The unions have used new organizing models to reach out to workers who want representation, who may not fit the old model of manufacturing -- the good, old autoworkers or steel workers or machinists. So, almost out of necessity, they've had to change.

Are Latinos the future of labor unions? Check out the video clip above or the full segment below and let us know what you think in the comments.

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