BLS Data Confirms Union Advantages

The Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that the number of wage and salary workers belonging to unions declined in 2010 by 612,000 to 14.7 million. The rate was 11.9 percent, down from 12.3 percent in 2009.

The data also shows the median usual weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary union members was $917 per week, compared to $717 for non-union workers. For Latinos, the wage disparity is even greater with union members earning an average of $771 compared to $512 for non-union Latino workers, a difference of 33.6 percent.

“When coupled with existing data showing that union members have access to better health care, retirement and leave benefits,” said Department of Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, “today’s numbers make it clear that union jobs are not only good jobs, they are central to restoring our middle class.

“As workers across the country continue to face lower wages and difficulty finding work due to the recent recession, these numbers demonstrate the pressing need to provide workers with a voice in the workplace and protect their right to organize and bargain collectively.”

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