Labor unions, including some that did not at first like the idea, say that hooking up with nonunion workers' centers has helped them make gains, including growing their own memberships.
Union membership in the U.S. rose by 162,000 in 2013, to 14.528 million, the Bureau of Labor Statistics calculated, but the union share of the nation's workers stayed unchanged at 11.3 percent.
Obama's campaign for more construction jobs comes against a continuing backdrop of high joblessness in the construction industry: 17.2% in March, more than double the national jobless rate of 8.2%.
TROY, Mich. - PulteGroup CEO Richard Dugas ran for cover when he heard labor and community folks were going to show up at his fancy luncheon - but 300 came anyway, demanding jobs.
Some 15,000 construction workers in Chicagoland have been on strike for weeks over wages and health care benefits.
Construction joblessness is above 20% and bank credit for private construction has been yanked in the recession. Jobs top unions' agenda.