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Eight Surprising Ways

Unions Benefit Workers & the American Economy

Are you interested in joining a union, or forming a union in your workplace? Learn more about the many benefits of union membership, and sign up to receive helpful resources and the important labor news.

1

More Union Members Means

A Stronger Middle Class

Research has shown a strong correlation between the size of union membership and the size of the middle class. From 1979 to 2012, union membership in the United States fell by half. In the same period, the middle class shrank by over 10 percent.

International Business Times, citing National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper No. 21638, Issued in October 2015

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2

A Strong Labor Movement Creates

A Stronger Economy

When union organizing helps wages go up, purchasing power increases, driving growth in the economy. When workers have better income and benefits, they are healthier, happier, and freer to contribute to economic growth in a number of ways.

Forbes 3/19/2015

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3

Being in a Union Means

Opportunities for Our Children

Children of union members go on to earn an average of 16% higher incomes than their parents. Even just growing up in a region with higher rates of unionization leads to better outcomes for children, who grow up to achieve more success than those from non-unionized areas.

NBER study; The Atlantic 10/28/2015

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4

A Growth in Unions Means

Economic Growth for All

The International Monetary Fund (IMF), arguably one of the most pro-business organizations in the world, has suggested that the revival of unions in democracies could grow economies and boost productivity. Additionally, the American Sociological Review has linked rising inequality to declining unions.

The Atlantic, 10/28/2015

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5

Strengthening Unions Means

Reversing Income Inequality

The decline of unions in the United States is directly correlated with increasing income inequality. The death of unions only benefits the 1%. In 2013 CEOs earned 296 times as much as the average worker.

Economist Joseph Stieglitz, cited in Forbes 3/19/2015

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6

Unions in Your Cities Means

Happier, Healthier Communities

Areas with higher union membership tend to see benefits even for their communities, since unions advocate for collective goods like an increased minimum wage, and expenditures on schools and public services.

Center for American Progress, 2015

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7

A Strong Labor Movement Means

Less Government Dependency

When workers cannot organize for fair wages and benefits, they are much more likely to require assistance from government entitlement programs such as Medicaid and food stamps.

Forbes 3/19/2015

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8

Having a Union at Your Company Means

Safer, More Productive Workers

When labor costs more, employers invest more in training and equipment, which improves workplace morale and boosts productivity. When workers are taken care of, everyone benefits. The antagonism between businesses and organized labor is not inevitable.

The Atlantic, 10/28/2015

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