I put these facts together because I am really growing tired of all of the anti-union rhetoric and propaganda that seems to be the popular opinion these days. Americans have forgotten that the middle class was built on unions. If you receive paid holidays, thank a union. If you receive vacation time, thank a union. If you receive health insurance, thank a union. If you receive unemployment pay, thank a union. If you work in a safe workplace, thank a union. I could go on and on, but you get the point.
I often hear the cry from various sides, ” I want my country back”… Well you know what, I do too.
I want the country back where it wasn’t a crime to make a living wage.
I want the country back where my fellow working class neighbors stood with me for the betterment of all working class people.
I want the country back where union busting tactics were taken as an assault on all working class people.
I want the country back where we cared what happened to our union brothers and sisters and not just what happens to us in our own little world.
I know I am dreaming because unions have been on a major decline, but some need to be reminded just what unions have done and are doing for this country still.
By bargaining collectively, union members are able to negotiate higher wages.
Union members earn almost 28 percent more than nonunion members.
The union wage benefit is greatest for people of color and women.
Latino union workers earn almost 51 percent more than their nonunion counterparts.
Union women earn almost 34 percent more than nonunion women.
For African Americans, the union advantage is 31 percent.
The union advantage for white male workers is almost 21 percent.
For Asian American workers the union advantage is close to 1 percent.
In nearly every occupational category, workers who are not members of unions have smaller paychecks than union members.
Union workers are more likely than their nonunion counterparts to be covered by health insurance, and to receive pension benefits and paid sick leave, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In March 2010, 84 percent of union workers were covered by health insurance through their jobs, compared with only 55 percent of nonunion workers.
87 percent of union workers participate in pension plans versus 49 percent of nonunion workers.
Seventy-eight percent of union workers participate in defined-benefit pension plans, compared with 19 percent of nonunion workers.
83 percent of union workers have paid sick leave compared to 64 percent of nonunion workers.
In states that have laws restricting workers’ rights to form strong unions, the average pay for all workers is lower.
In 2009, average pay in “right to work” states was 11.1 percent lower than in states where workers have the freedom to form strong unions.
Union members in low-wage occupations on average earn a great deal more than nonunion workers in the same occupations, often lifting their earnings above the official poverty guidelines.
Bottom line unions have made life better for all working Americans by helping to pass laws ending child labor, establishing the eight-hour day, protecting workers’ safety and health and helping create Social Security, unemployment insurance and the minimum wage. If you are currently or will enjoy any of these benefits in the future.
If you receive paid holidays, thank a union. If you receive vacation time, thank a union. If you receive health insurance, thank a union. If you receive unemployment pay, thank a union. If you work in a safe workplace, thank a union.
THANK A UNION WORKER!!