Why Union?

Workers have more power over their work environment when they stick together and speak with the collective voice of a union. By organizing, workers are in a better position to win better pay, better health coverage, safer working conditions, more job security, and a host of other benefits

Non-union workers have very limited rights under the law and can be fired “at-will,” for no reason. Without a union, workers could be subject to rules that change overnight, promises that are made but never kept, favoritism that only benefits friends of the boss, or hours that fluctuate wildly from week to week. In contrast, a union contract guarantees everything until workers renegotiate the terms of the contract. As result, union workers get:

Better Wages
On average, union members across occupations made 30% more money than non-union workers. This is particularly helpful among women and minorities. Unionized female employees earn a full 31% more than non-union women. African American union members earn 36% more, Latino workers earn 46% more, and Asian American workers see wages 8% higher than their non-union counterparts (from the Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Better Health Care
Only 49% of non-union workers in America have the benefit of job-related health coverage. Among union members, however, a full 80% of workers have coverage. The benefit does not stop there, either. Data show that union families pay an average of 43% less for family health care coverage than non-union families. At the end of the year, this adds up to an annual savings of almost $1,000 (from the Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Better Pensions
While 80% of union workers are covered by pension plans, only 47% of their non-union counterparts can make the same claim to retirement security. It is also important to note the quality of these pension benefits. Defined-benefit pension plans are federally insured so as to provide a particular dollar amount every month. Defined-contribution plans, on the other hand, cannot make that guarantee and instead depend on performance of the plan’s investments. Sixty-eight percent of union workers have the better defined-benefit plans compared to only 14% of non-union workers (from the Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Moreover, the above benefits tend to improve for all workers – union and non-union alike – when unions are strong. When unions are strong, wages increase, health care improves, and pensions get better. The availability of good union jobs forces non-union employers to raise their standards, too, if they want to attract workers. Strong unions make for a strong country and stronger families.