Union Facts: The Value of Collective Voice

The union difference is more money in your pockets to buy a home, start a family, pay down student loan debt and save for retirement.

Better Pay and Benefits

  • Union members earn better wages and benefits than workers who aren’t union members. On average, union workers’ wages are 11% higher than their nonunion counterparts.
  • Ninety-four percent of union workers have employer-provided health insurance, but only 68% of nonunion workers do.
  • Unions help bring more working people into the middle class. In fact, in states where people don’t have union rights, workers’ incomes are lower.

Secure Retirement

  • Working people in a union are more likely to participate in an employer-provided guaranteed pension plan than working people without a union (54% compared to 8%).

Productivity

  • Unions help employers create a more stable, productive workforce—where workers have a say in improving their jobs. Unions also provide a voice on the job, which is something that money can't buy. 

The Union Difference

Workers in a union have:

  • higher wages (11.2% more than what nonunion workers make)
  • employer-provided health insurance (94% compared to 68%)
  • access to paid sick days (91% compared to 73%);
  • retirement benefits through private employers (82% to 48%); and
  • guaranteed pensions through private employers (54% to 8%).
Unions Improve Pay and Working Conditions for All Workers—Especially Workers of Color

The union advantage is even greater for people of color, women, immigrants, and others who have confronted workplace discrimination. A union contract is a potent weapon against unequal pay and structural racism because it establishes fair and transparent systems for hiring and firing, wages and more.

Black, Latino and women workers are paid 13.7%, 20.1% and 5.8% more, respectively, when they belong to a union. Union contracts pay women and men the same for doing the same job. You cannot be fired for your sexual orientation or gender identity under a union contract.