Unions Make Democracy Work for the Middle Class

Organized Labor Helps Ordinary Citizens Participate More and Have a Greater Say

Read the full article (CAP Action)

On Friday the Department of Labor will release data on the union status of the American workforce. Unfortunately the data are likely to show a decline in the percentage of workers who are unionized because of the one-two punch of long-term trends—such as the escalation of aggressive employer campaigns against union representation—and political attacks such as Wisconsin’s new law banning public-sector collective bargaining.

Even though less than 12 percent of all workers are currently union members, Americans—whether unionized or not—should care about this decline because unions give workers a bigger say in our economy and our political system. That helps the middle class, and it’s good for democracy.

As our research and a number of academic studies find, unions strengthen the middle class and significantly reduce economic inequality. In fact studies indicate that the decline in union density explains as much of today’s record level of inequality as does the increasing economic return of a college education.

Read the full article (CAP Action)