An organized association of workers formed to protect and further their rights and interests including income, benefits and job conditions
Labor and Unions: Creating Prosperity For All
Unions are an essential part of the US economy as they provide workers with a collective voice to influence economic policies and ensure better-shared prosperity. They are necessary as they reduce the excessive leverage organizations have over workers. They represent the workforce to combat the interests of the top one percent of the US economy.
Giving working people a voice and real leverage is essential for enhancing democracy. A union has the power to motivate its members to support or lobby political causes. Studies have shown that unions (when strong in numbers) are very effective at getting their members at the voting polls. They also have the capacity to get workers to support changes where the most significant problems exist in our economy. Issues like gender inequalities, wage stagnation, and growing economic inequalities are some of the issues unions address.
Every citizen has a vested interest in ensuring that everyone of all races, ages, genders, and backgrounds has an economy that benefits them. Below are examples where unions are creating a prosperous future for all Americans.
Diversity and Collective Bargaining
There are unions in various industries, including firefighters, manufacturing, television writers, security guards, baseball, and many more. Unions are as diverse as the US itself. In the past, unions mostly had white men as members. However, as of 2016, registered memberships of unions included people of color (over 35%) and women (over 45%)
Interestingly, over 14% of black, over 12% of white, and over 10% of Hispanic workers between the ages of 18 to 64 are more likely to be presented by unions with collective bargaining agreements. Collective bargaining agreements allow the union to negotiate employment conditions and elements as a single voice representing all members.
For example, there may be issues related to working hours, safety concerns, wage increases, and more that the union will address. Unions have specific procedures to solve issues, and members have the security that it will be done in accordance with labor laws.
Unions Bring Positive Changes for All
Besides influencing voting power and members supporting specific political causes, unions also bring about prosperity for union and non-union members. Unions use their power in numbers to enable members to get a fairer share of the income that they create. For example, when wages, working conditions, or more are improved for union members, the employer must also do the same for non-union members.
The data is evident that unions raise wages for all workers. Due to unions’ efforts, women and workers of color have gained many positive changes. Women increasingly hold more shares in unions, which shows significant progress in reducing sexism and racism. Unions ensure that all people of color and women can now access more apprenticeships.
The labor movement is an integrated part of progress and our democratic system. It gives every worker a voice despite their level of education and educates workers to take a stand against an unfair economic system and change it for the better.