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Since the predecessors of today's labor unions began forming in the late 1800s and wading into politics in the 1900s, unions have waned in power compared to their mid-century heyday but still represent millions of American workers.
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The AFL-CIO is the largest union federation in the U.S., made up of 55 national and international unions with 12.5 million members worldwide. Its member unions span from the Actors Equity Association to the Utility Workers Union of America.
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Other massive unions include the National Education Association, which has 3 million members; the Service Employees International Union, which has roughly 2 million members in the U.S. and Canada; the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which has 1.4 million members in the U.S. and Canada; and the United Auto Workers, which has more than 400,000 active members and 580,000 retired members in the U.S. and Canada.