How Do Unions Help?
The effects of the destabilization of our economy and globalization have increased the unemployment rate causing competition in the workforce between qualified but unemployed adults as well as the international community, and the young workforce. Young workers are especially vulnerable to these conditions because they are often stigmatized as lazy and lacking authority. Unions provide an opportunity for workers to show their strength through collective bargaining thereby providing a source of power to acquire benefits such as higher wages, healthcare, and a pension plan to be attained.
After adjusting for inflation, the wage of the average 18-29 year old worker was about 10 percent lower in 2007 than it had been in 1979. Unionized young workers earn on average 12.4 percentage points more than their non-unionized counterparts. For adults, this percentage increases to 30 percent more a week. Furthermore, members of unions are 24 percentage points more likely to have a pension plan and 17 percentage points more likely to have health benefits provided by their employers than non-unionized workers.