Most Working Americans Covered By Collective Bargaining Agreements

October 17, 2002 ( - Three-quarters of all civilian workers have some form of federal, state or local collective bargaining rights, according to a General Accounting Office report.

In total, 103 million workers have bargaining rights. The manufacturing sector leads the pack, with nine out of every 10 workers covered under some form of collective bargaining.  

However, the report found that as of February 2001, 32 million civilian workers were without any of these rights.   Included are:

  • 357,000 agricultural workers
  • 532,000 household workers
  • 5.5 million small business employees
  • 6.9 million federal, state, and local government employees
  • 10.2 million supervisors and managers
  • 8.5 million independent contractors

Independent contractors, including those working for temporary employment agencies, is “the area where there’s been the most erosion” according to Gordon Pavy, collective bargaining coordinator at the AFL-CIO.