Labor Unions and Charity

Source: Roland Zullo, Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Vol. 64, No. 4, July 2011
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From the abstract:
Drawing on two independent datasets, the author examines organized labor’s role as a benefactor for community-based charity. A population-level analysis of Michigan data indicates that union member density and union local density are positively associated with per capita donations to regional United Ways. An individual-level analysis of CPS data corroborates the Michigan findings and reveals that unionists are more likely than non-unionists to be engaged in community affairs and to volunteer for charitable organizations. Moreover, unionists disproportionately volunteer to provide medical care, fire/EMS or protective services; collect and distribute clothing, crafts, or non-food goods; coach or referee; volunteer in music or other arts; tutor or teach; and mentor youth. The findings suggest that unions function in part as vehicles for collectivizing asset and volunteer resources among their members for redistribution to community-based charitable causes, thereby reducing social inequity.

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