Unions strengthen the economy. Over the years, many politicians and business leaders have pushed the opposite notion, and have sought to weaken unions in the US. But real-life experience in the US and abroad shows otherwise.
In countries with strong economies by global standards, like Germany, Japan, and Korea, unions remain strong.
In Germany, the average autoworker earns about $67 per hour in salary and benefits, compared with $34 in the United States. Yet Germany’s car companies in 2010 produced more than twice as many vehicles as American companies did, and they were highly profitable.
Historically in America, the biggest years for unions, the 1940s and ’50s, were also some of the fastest-growing years for the United States ever — and the periods when union membership were highest were those when inequality was least.
Today, even the International Monetary Fund, one of the world’s chief financial organizations and one rarely thought of as a friend of labor, said: “unionization and minimum wages are usually thought to reduce inequality by helping equalize the distribution of wages, and economic research confirms this.”
“The idea that unions help improve the economy makes sense to me. We help level the playing field, and that generally means a better game for all.”
UWUA Member, Linperson, Local 369