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How Today’s Unions Help Working People

An organized association of workers formed to protect and further their rights and interests including income, benefits and job conditions

How Today’s Unions Help Working People

Unions in America help people to improve their lives and their communities. Unions also give individuals a collective voice to make changes and improvements to their place of work. Below are more instances of how Unions help working people. 

Strength in Numbers

Unions allow workers to form a collective voice to communicate their frustrations or dissatisfactions. Collective bargaining is the main strength of any union. Most of the employment rights workers enjoy today have been implemented due to the actions of unions. When a union uses collective bargaining, it also fights for the working rights of non-union members. 

Improved Terms and Conditions

When you belong to a union, you’re more likely to receive better terms and conditions from employers. Trade unions will negotiate the terms and conditions of employment for their members using collective bargaining practices and agreements. A union should handle all factors relating to a person’s working life. This ensures that agreements are fair and the employee remains under the protection of the union.

Below are the advantages that union members enjoy versus non-union members:

  • Job-provided Health Insurance

    • Union Members – 75%
    • Non-union Members – 48%
  • Guaranteed Defined-benefit Pensions

    • Union Members – 70%
    • Non-union Members – 13%
  • Paid Sick Leave

    • Union Members – 91%
    • Non-union Members – 73%
  • Average Weekly Earnings (All)

    • Union Members – $1,095
    • Non-union Members – $892
  • Black People Average Weekly Earnings

      • Union Members – $905
      • Non-union Members – $711
  • Latino People Average Weekly Earnings

    • Union Members – $954
    • Non-union Members – $686
  • Latino People Average Weekly Earnings

    • Union Members – $954
    • Non-union Members – $686
  • White Women Average Weekly Earnings

    • Union Members – $1,085
    • Non-union Members – $877
  • Black Women Average Weekly Earnings

    • Union Members – $917
    • Non-union Members – $742

Improved Work-life Balance

There’s no point in working yourself to death. Every worker deserves a decent living and life. With more focus on family, like taking your child to their first day of school, caring for them when they’re ill, or taking time off to grieve for a loved one, we all need this time to be there for our families, and this should be non-negotiable. 

People join unions to ensure that these rights are provided. Unions make workers’ lives better by the following actions:

  • Ensuring consistent working schedules and ensuring no mandatory overtime.
  • Negotiating flexible work weeks and allowing time to work from home.
  • Agreeing to terms and conditions allows for time off to attend family and school events.
  • Being able to get paid vacations for members.
  • Allowing for extended periods of maternity and paternity leave.
  • Ensuring that employees are trained for career advancements.
  • Wages and benefits to keep up with inflation rates.
  • Ensuring work safety standards. 
  • Negotiating paid holidays.

Bottom Line

Unions are more important today than ever before. Unions must stay dynamic and constantly evolve to keep up with economic and social changes to be effective. These institutions give people a voice and leverage over employers to change their policies and procedures. 

Everyone shares the prosperity that unions bring to workers, including non-union members. Unions play a considerable role in our democratic system by organizing people together and motivating them to support specific political causes. 

Sources:

https://aflcio.org/what-unions-do/empower-workers

https://www.epi.org/publication/how-todays-unions-help-working-people-giving-workers-the-power-to-improve-their-jobs-and-unrig-the-economy/#epi-toc-20

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