Is the Tide Turning for Organized Labor?
Although union membership continues to decline (only about 7% of private sector workers are union members and 36% of public sector employees are union members according to the US Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics), in the face of growing income inequality, and stagnant wages, it appears that organized labor may soon be facing a resurgence.
Union advocates have long known and promoted the fact that belonging to a union makes a powerful difference in people’s lives, for example, unionized workers have median weekly earnings of $970 compared with $763 for workers not in a union. Nevertheless, the clear utility of unions in narrowing income inequality has gone unheeded for decades, but the tide may be turning. A new poll by the National Employment Law Project, reports that 72% or workers who make less than $15 an hour support unions. Remarkably a recent Gallup poll that found that 58% of the general population support unions. Majority support for organized labor might seem far-fetched – but an incredible 42% of ALL workers in the United States make less than $15 an hour.
The 78% of workers making less than $15 an hour who support organized labor aren’t just paying lip service to collective action, they’re looking to make their voices heard in Massachusetts. On October 13, 2015, a coalition organized by Raise Up Massachusetts and #WageAction are sponsoring a day of Action at the Massachusetts State House. While the legislature begins hearings on a number of bills protecting and promoting workers, the workers will be agitating and lobbying in support of their goals. Will you join them?
More information about the day of action can be found here: http://wageaction.org/fight-for-15-at-the-massachusetts-state-house/#.VhwP8vlVhBd