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A Tale of Two Auto Workers

The shrinking labor movement—Total union membership in the U.S. in 2008: 16.1 million; In 2011: 14.8 million
The shrinking labor movement—Total union membership in the U.S. in 2008: 16.1 million; In 2011: 14.8 millionPhotographs by Daniel Shea for Bloomberg Businessweek; Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Joe Geiser, union
Daniel Shea

Joe Geiser, 51
Blank and shear operator at GM’s metal fabrication plant in Lordstown, Ohio
 
◀ When General Motors announced plans to shut down its plant in Massena, N.Y., in 2008, Joe Geiser pulled up roots and moved to the automaker’s factory in Lordstown, Ohio. “It was hard for me and my wife to leave our families,” he says. “But with the economy in the state it was in, we had limited choices.”