The numbers tell the story: there is strength in numbers. Union workers make 27% more than their non-union counterparts.
Without question, as the data shows, collective bargaining works. Not only are wages higher, but union workers are much more likely to have health benefits and a pension. This is a consequence of the right to collective bargaining, a right only afforded to those workers that stand together with their co-workers to form a Union. By standing together there is significant leverage generated at the negotiating table by the legal and strategic power created by the right to bargain collectively. Put simply, you are stronger negotiating against your employer together as opposed to going it alone.
The California Labor Federation has created a straightforward explanation on union basics (below). I think it’s a great tool that we as Teamsters can use to talk about why unions are integral to maintaining the middle class, fighting income inequality, and ensuring that all workers are treated with respect and dignity on the job.
Raising the standards for all workers…
What is a Union?
It’s simple, really: Unions are workers who stand together to bargain with their bosses for better pay, safer working conditions, and decent benefits. When workers stand together, we have power. And that power makes the American Dream more possible for everyone.
Who Needs Unions?
We all do. Corporate CEOs have gotten rich by negotiating multi-million dollar pay packages for themselves while not allowing workers to negotiate a living wage for our families. Unions even the playing field for all workers by standing up to big corporations and fighting for laws that protect everyone.
Do we still need Unions today?
We need Unions more than ever. Big corporations and Wall Street bankers are dismantling the American Dream by outsourcing our jobs, slashing wages, and eliminating retirement, just to get bigger bonuses for themselves. Today, the only thing that stands in their way is working people standing together to make sure that everyone has a fair shot.