Outten & Golden: Empowering Employees in the Workplace

Check out how unions make California's economy more equal

June 11th, 2018 | Laura Clawson

As the Supreme Court gets ready to deal a major blow to public sector unions, here’s a reminder of how much unions do to increase equality in this country. A University of California-Berkeley Labor Center report on the effects of unions in California shows how unions help close racial and gender gaps in wages and more:

  • Union coverage increases wages by 26 percent for women, compared to 15 percent for men.
  • Black and Latino/a workers see a bigger increase in their average wages from union coverage
  • (19 percent for Black workers and 40 percent for Latino/a workers) compared to White workers (9 percent).
  • Immigrant workers also see slightly larger wage gains from union coverage (19 percent) compared to U.S.-born workers (18 percent).

Effects are similar for having employer-sponsored health coverage and retirement plans—unions make it more likely workers will have these benefits, and they make the economy a little more equal. And if more workers were in unions, that could make the economy a lot more equal.

This blog was originally published at Daily Kos on June 9, 2018. Reprinted with permission. 

About the Author: Laura Clawson is labor editor at Daily Kos.

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