At a glance:
- Labor unions play an essential role in delivering better wages, benefits, and working conditions not just for their members, but for all workers
- Women and people of color see even more pronounced gains in wages, retirement security, and health care coverage because of being union members
- Labor unions contribute to increased civic and community engagement
- Maine and the nation are seeing a resurgence in worker organizing across a wide range of sectors
- Public support of unions is at a 60 year high despite the share of workers who belong to a union continuing to lag
- Recent policy changes in Maine will improve opportunities for workers to organize and secure good jobs
- Labor laws still fall short when it comes to upholding the rights of workers to organize and have greater say
Unionized workers play an essential role in advancing economic justice
The 40-hour work week. Protections for worker health and safety. These are hard fought standards secured by unionized workers that benefit all workers.
Unions are fundamentally about balancing power between workers and management or ownership, and a unionized workforce is associated with a host of positive economic, health, and civic outcomes.
For unionized workers, the benefits are clear. Research has found union membership boosts wages by around 15 percent compared to nonunion workplaces, when accounting for age, education, occupation, and other factors.