Why Union Labor Is Important To the Workforce of America

Why Union Labor Is Important To the Workforce of America

Labor unions give the American working class a voice. These are legally recognized institutions that represent workers in various fields throughout the country. Without labor unions, it would be difficult for workers to negotiate over remuneration as whole or even ask for better working conditions. Authorities listen to unions when they air their grievances and they ultimately benefit not just the workers but then entire community.

Unions Benefit All Americans

The idea that labor unions are only beneficial to those that they represents is misguided. There are many situations in which unions bring forth positive results to the entire community. Statistics show that states that have a higher rate of union members tend to have lower levels of poverty, failing schools and crime rates. Unions are also beneficial when it comes to economic development and this is because they partner with local governments, employers and community organizations to develop beneficial projects. The Gulf Coast Revitalization Program that was initiated by AFL-CIO in 2006 saw the creation of a housing and economic development program worth $1 billion come to realization. The project created housing for low and moderate income earners and also developed a lower rate mortgage program along with job training programs, health facilities and thousands of union jobs in the Gulf Coast. After 9/11, union pension funds went ahead to invest $750 million in New York. These are just some examples that show the importance of labor unions to the American workforce and the entire community as well.

The Importance of Labor Unions in Legislation

Without proper legislation, employees are left with no legal framework to claim their rights. Unions have played a pivotal role in passing legislations that benefit the American workers. These include the passing of the Fair Minimum Wage Act, 2007 and the Social Security Act, 1935. Other laws that were passed with the input and advocacy of labor unions in mine safety laws, workers compensation laws, the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 and the Fair Labor Standard Act amongst others.

How Do Labor Unions Benefit The American Workforce Directly?

Workers that are represented by a union earn 30% more than those who are not. Reregistered nurses represented by a union earn 16% more than non-union registered nurses. A Bureau of Labor Statistics report published in 2011indicated that the median weekly earnings of union members was $917 while non-union workers earned $717. That would be a yearly difference of $10,400. Union workers also have more access to on-the-job training making them more skilled. They have safer work environments because their employees are more likely to follow Occupational Safety and Health Administrations standards. Union workers also receive better healthcare coverage than non-union workers. For more information you can see the Walgreens application. About 80 percent on union workers have employer funded health insurance as opposed to 49 percent on non-union worker. 90 percent on union workers have prescription drug benefits while the same benefit is only accessible to 68 percent non-union workers.

Labor unions are without a doubt important to the workforce of America and the community at large.

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