The Union Dividend: It Reaches Beyond Members

Source: Kevin Cashman and Evan Butcher, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) blog, September 10, 2015

There is considerable research showing that unions benefit the workers who join them, and this is especially so for lower paid workers, African Americans, immigrants, and women. Workers represented by unions get higher wages, and are also more likely to enjoy benefits like paid sick days, paid holidays, and paid vacation than their non-union counterparts. …. The three graphics below show the laws across the country that guarantee paid sick leave and paid family leave, and the laws that mandate a minimum wage higher than the federal level by $0.50 or more. State-level jurisdictions are divided by color in three roughly equal groups based on the percent of workers in that jurisdiction who are represented by unions. (Click on the graphics for an interactive version. Clicking on the jurisdictions provides detailed information about the laws.) …. The correlations are obvious: those states with higher percentages of workers represented by unions are more likely to have any of these three policies. For paid sick leave, seven of the ten jurisdictions with laws at the state or local level are in the group with the highest level of union representation (the darkest green). For paid family leave the results are striking. All four of the jurisdictions with laws are in the group with the highest level of union representation….

union representation & paid sick leave

union representation & paid family leave

union representation & higher minimum wage