Why Unions are Important

Unions Promote Transparency and Help Resolve Workplace Issues

When workers form a union, the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with their employer contains agreements on pay, benefits and other employment terms and conditions. The agreement includes pay levels and scales for different jobs and brings transparency to the process and helps ensure equity and fairness in pay for workers.

When concerns or problems arise, the CBA includes the “grievance and arbitration process,” a straightforward way to resolve issues. The process spares union workers the time and expense of pursuing a claim in court or seeking government assistance.

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Unions Raise Workers’ Wages

Workers in unions earn 18% more than non-union workers

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Source: The Bureau of Labor Statistics

Workers Want a Voice on Workplace Issues

The Percentage of Workers Who Want More Voice on This Issue

Source: Kochan et al., Worker Voice in America: Is There a Gap between What Workers Expect and What They Experience?
(ILR Review 2019)

Workers Need More Information
on Unions and Organizing Rights

10% of workers know how to form a union
10% of workers know how to form a union

Source: Aligning U.S. Labor Law with Worker Preferences for Labor Representation, Washington Center for Equitable Growth

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Unions are Important to the Department’s Mission

Unions help the Department of Labor fulfill its mission to protect the health, safety, wages and retirement security of working Americans. Workers represented by unions feel safer voicing concerns about workplace safety and health, wage theft and other violations of worker protections. Unions help enforce workers’ legal rights. Supporting workers as they try try to form unions helps the department’s ability to carry out its mission.