Center for American Progress

Rep. Payne’s Resolution Recognizes that Unions Build the Middle Class

Rep. Payne’s Resolution Recognizes that Unions Build the Middle Class

New Resolution Shows How Unions Benefit American Workers

Read the full article (CAP Action)

Rep. Donald Payne (D-NJ) introduced a commonsense resolution yesterday recognizing that strong labor unions help build a healthy middle class. The resolution would not change the law at all but would simply highlight the fact that unions provide important benefits to the 99 percent of Americans that need to work for a living by allowing them a voice in our economy and democracy. Our country desperately needs to hear this message right now, and it is a small but important step toward rebuilding our middle class. Unfortunately, instead of supporting Rep. Payne’s efforts, House Republicans are tearing away at Americans’ right to form unions.

Unions have won important rights for working Americans—including the 40-hour work week, safe and healthy working conditions, and social safety net programs—but they aren’t just an artifact of history. The American Worker Project has conducted extensive research—cited in Rep. Payne’s resolution—on how unions increase middle-class incomes today.

When unions are strong they can ensure that workers are paid fair wages, receive the training they need to advance to the middle class, and are considered in corporate decision-making processes. Unions also promote political participation among all Americans, give ordinary Americans a voice within our government, and help secure policies that support the middle class, such as Social Security, family leave, and the minimum wage.

Read the full article (CAP Action)

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Karla Walter

Senior Fellow, Inclusive Economy

David Madland

Senior Fellow; Senior Adviser, American Worker Project