There’s an old saying: “a rising tide lifts all boats.”  Increased union membership doesn’t simply improve conditions for union members and their families, it improves the economy.

This is a major reason why the pro-business International Monetary Fund (IMF) now acknowledges the benefits unions bring to societies around the world.  It concluded that countries with higher rates of union membership have less inequality and less poverty.

The opportunity for unions to make a difference in the US these days is very real.  Currently less than 9 percent of private sector workers are organized by unions.  That’s one of the lowest unionization rates in the world, far closer to Mexico and South Korea than to Germany and Canada.

Aside from supporting more productive workplaces, active unions also push for middle class priorities that have an impact beyond their own membership: more tax equality, stronger Social Security and Medicare, and improved public education.

“Combine improved productivity, higher incomes for working families and better education and public services, and you see how union growth helps deliver economic growth for all.”UWUA Member, Local 132