A report out of the U.S. has announced that the United Autoworkers Union saw its numbers drop nearly 11 per cent in 2005. The announcement based on UAW financial reports, stated that the powerful union lost nearly 66,000 members during the past year, leaving the organization at its lowest membership since World War Two. “What’s driving this is the loss of 50,000 members at GM and Ford and the potential loss of 37,000 jobs at Delphi,” said Sean P. McAlinden, an economist at the Center for Automotive Research at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The lower membership numbers means that the union has seen a reduction in its political clout, but McAlinden went on to say the UAW is far from obsolete. “The UAW is going to end up as a much smaller but still rich union that has some control over final (vehicle) assembly,” he said. In 2004, the union reported an income of U.S. $272 million, and expenses of $221 million, despite the reduction in its membership. As a result, the University of Michigan study predicted that the union would remain on solid financial ground, as long as its numbers stayed over 300,000. At last count, there were 557,099 UAW members.