Building Power for Working People

A union is you and your co-workers coming together as a team to make improvements at your workplace.

Union members work together to negotiate and enforce a contract with management that guarantees the things you care about like decent raises, affordable health care, safer workplaces, job security and a stable schedule.

There is a union for every type of career. There are unions for NFL players, lobstermen and sitcom actors, and many other professions. No matter what profession you are in, you deserve to make ends meet, have a good life and plan for the future.

Here are some of the ways you benefit from forming or joining a union:

Better Wages and Benefits

Decent raises, predictable schedules and family-friendly policies don’t just happen without working people coming together and advocating for better workplaces.

When people negotiate together, they gain better wages and benefits.

Working people in unions make improvements at the workplace, and they fight to improve the rights of all people. Union members helped create workplace health and safety standards, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Family Medical Leave Act, increases to minimum wage, workers’ compensation and lots of the other laws you rely on.

See what union members are advocating for today.

The Union Difference Is Clear

Health Insurance

People in a union participating in job-provided health insurance: 79%
People without a union participating in job-provided health insurance: 49%

Pensions

People in a union participating in guaranteed (defined-benefit) pension plans: 76%
People without a union participating in guaranteed (defined-benefit) pension plans: 16%

Paid Sick Leave

People in a union with paid sick leave: 83%
People without a union with paid sick leave: 62%

Median Weekly Earnings

People with a union median weekly earnings: $980
People without a union median weekly earnings: $776

Black Working People

Black working people in a union median weekly earnings: $800
Black working people without a union median weekly earnings: $617

Latino Working People

Latino working people with a union median weekly earnings: $862
Latino working people without a union median weekly earnings: $586

Asian American Working People

Asian American working people with a union median weekly earnings: $1,094
Asian American working people without a union median weekly earnings: $977

 

$204
Union members median weekly earnings are $204 higher than people who don't have a union voice.
Did You Know
Women union members' median weekly earnings are $928. Women without a union voice earn median weekly wage of $697.
$616
Working people ages 16-24 with a union earn a median $616 weekly while young people without a union earn $482.

 

Collective Bargaining Is the Best Way to Raise Wages

Collective bargaining is the process in which you and your coworkers come together through your unions and negotiate contracts with your employers to determine their terms of employment, including pay, benefits, hours, leave, job health and safety policies, ways to balance work and family and more. Negotiating together is a way to solve workplace problems.

Common things that are collectively bargained include things like:

Union Jobs Help Achieve Work-Life Balance

You deserve to make more than just a decent living, you deserve a decent life.

Everyone knows—family comes first. Whether it’s being able send your kids off for their first day of school, or caring for an elderly parent who is ill, being there and providing for family isn’t negotiable.

There’s more to life than work. Which is why people join unions to negotiate together for work-life balance. Union members speak up together to make life better through:

  • Consistent schedules and no mandatory overtime.
  • Flexible schedules, like a four day work week or working from home.
  • Time off to take care of family or attend school events.
  • Paid vacation you can actually take without feeling guilty or overwhelmed when you return.
  • Longer maternity leave and paternity leave, with staffing to back-fill your position while you’re out.
  • Student loan repayment and scholarships.
  • Job training programs for career mobility.
  • Reimbursements for fitness club memberships, yoga, and other wellness benefits.
  • Wages and benefits that keep up with the cost of living.
  • Family-friendly work environments.

A voice on the job is priceless. You deserve respect and recognition for the hard work you do.

If you don’t have a union at your workplace, learn more about how you can form a union and take a first step toward better wages and benefit, and a better life.

Resources for Union Activists