OT: Happy Labor Day stats
A union contract means higher wages. It's called the "union advantage."
Union members, on average, make 30 percent more than workers who don't have a union—$863 a week compared with $663 a week, according to the latest government data.That's a "union advantage" of $200 a week, or $10,000 a year.
Better health care benefits: Nationwide, 78 percent of union members were covered by health insurance through their jobs in 2007—compared with only 49 percent of workers who didn't have a union. And the health insurance union members enjoy is better, with more family coverage, fewer and smaller co-pays and deductibles and higher lifetime maximums.
Pensions: The union advantage for defined-benefit pensions, which pay a guaranteed amount per month, was even greater than for health insurance. In 2007, 67 percent of union members were covered by defined-benefit pension plans through their jobs—compared with only 15 percent of nonunion workers.Disability insurance: Workers with union contracts are almost twice as likely as workers who have no union to have disability insurance to provide benefits when they are injured or disabled.(US DOL stats, Aug. 07)
Union contracts make a huge difference with race and gender wage gaps that disadvantage women and people of color.•African American union members earn 37 percent more than their counterparts who have no union.•For Latino workers, the union advantage totals 51 percent.•For Asian workers, the union advantage is 4 percent.•And union women earn 33 percent more than nonunion women.•These groups, when they have a union contract, are more likely to have employer-provided benefits than nonunion employees, AND•Unions help fight discrimination on the job and win equal opportunities. (US DOL stats, Jan, 08)
Unions have also:•Negotiated affirmative action programs in contracts.•Fought for the collective bargaining rights of low-income women of color, such as home-care workers.•Led the legislative fight to amend Title VII to bar pregnancy discrimination and Funded legal challenges to discriminatory practices
In addition, in a state with many union members and union contracts, we are able to set the standard in our negotiations; and nonunion employers have to raise their wages and benefits to keep up. But in states with few union members and union contracts, nonunion companies get to set the standard—and it's a race to the bottom.
Actor, Singer, Teacher
The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for. Maureen Dowd