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The Union Leader

News & Notes for Our Valued Clients October 2018

SMARTPHONE PHACTS - Not surprisingly, millennials lead the nation in smartphone use; we all pretty much know that intuitively. But the independent and well-respected Pew Research Center has released some interesting numbers to ponder.

* Since its last such research in 2011, the Pew Center reports that 95 percent of all Americans now own a cellphone of some kind. Of that number, the percentage of Americans that own a smartphone is currently 77 percent - up from 35 percent just seven years ago.

* There's no substantial difference between cellphone/smartphone ownership based on gender or race. Ninety-five percent of all men own a cellphone; 77 percent of those have smartphones. For women the numbers are 94 and 75 percent, respectively. White Americans with any cellphone register at 94 percent; 77 percent of those are smartphones. For black Americans those numbers are 98 and 75 percent, respectively, while for Hispanic-Americans the numbers are 97 and 77 percent.

* The most interesting numbers are based on age. Statistically, 100 percent of all Americans 18-29 have some type of cellphone - 94 percent of those being smartphones. Again, that may not be too surprising. But perhaps the next sets of numbers are. Those ages 30-49 aren't that far behind the so-called millennials: 98 percent have some sort of cellphone and 89 percent of those are smartphones. And even those in the age range of 50-64 register at 94 percent cellphone use and 73 percent smartphone use. 

Think about that in these terms: even virtually 3 out of 4 of our oldest union members are using smartphones.

This is why we advocate so frequently for our mobile app packages. We're truly not just trying to sell you something else, we're trying honestly to equip all of our clients with the best possible communication tools to reach your members. Pew Center research also shows that today, one in five Americans - mostly the younger ones - now use smartphones as their sole means of accessing the Internet. Translated, that means 20 percent of your up-and-coming union membership and future leaders don't own or use a PC or laptop - their smartphone is their computer. That number will only rise in the years ahead. It's food for thought.


POST JANUS, POST KAVANAUGH … WHAT'S NEXT? - The recent confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court (and we're not taking a side on that debate) undeniably means the nation's high court will lean conservative for many years given the court's make-up. With the Janus vs. AFSCME decision and now Kavanaugh's confirmation in the rearview mirror, is all lost?

No, say many observers. One who has broken possible future options down succinctly is Casey Berkovitz of The Century Foundation, a self-defined "progressive think tank." Berkovitz outlines four points worth pondering:

* Unions must recommit to serving their members. Many unions got lazy over the years in reaching out to their membership given the nature of "fair share" fees. Now, those unions must sell themselves and prove their worth. That's not a bad thing.

* Unions can push for state and local legislation. While Janus was a big hammer from the federal level, it's not the end-all. Unions can still work to elect labor-friendly state and local legislators, councilors, etc. and fight for state/local level relief. Such actions can't undo Janus, but can help ease some of the hardship.

* Unions must embrace non-traditional worker organizing. There are large pools of workers out there that have rarely been subject to organizing efforts. Many won't be easy to unionize, but it's necessary to increase the number of future potential union workers.

* Union organizing must make internal structural changes. Simply put, what worked with traditional AFL-CIO types of workers may well not work with new target groups. 21st Century union organizing must include substantial online efforts, to coincide with how people shop, pay bills, call for a ride, etc. It will likely be another natural expansion in the role of union websites and mobile apps. 


CONTACT US - Our customer service center is always ready to assist you. We have professional support staff trained to get you answers and/or help you through an issue as quickly as possible. E-mail us at or call (888) 248-5557, Ext. 3.


PRODUCT FEATURE - No doubt, we're going to highlight mobile apps again. You've seen the usage numbers above - it just makes good sense to add a mobile app to your Unions-America website package. We encourage you to contact us so we can talk about the details of doing so.

You can directly integrate members-only content, send push messages to groups, sync content with your website, and so much more. Our mobile apps are compatible with any existing UnionActive- or WordPress-based website! And importantly, it's not a lot of extra work for your webmaster - in most cases simply updating content in your website will automatically update the same content in the app. It's that easy!

Push Messaging Notifications ... Group Management and Messaging ... Social Media Integration .... Shift Trades ... Integrated Member Login .... and more! Visit us at to learn more about our fully integrated mobile app options.

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