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Combating Pay Gaps with Unions and Expanded Collective Bargaining

Ensuring that all workers are paid fairly remains an unfulfilled policy goal. Women tend to be paid less than men and racial and ethnic minorities tend to be paid less than white workers. In spite of a number of important reforms over the years to address this problem in the United States, significant pay gaps remain. And in fact, black workers are facing a rising pay gap compared with their white counterparts.

Research shows that unions and collective bargaining reduce pay discrepancies between women and men and between communities of color and white workers. Moreover, collective bargaining that occurs above the individual firm level, such as at the industry, regional, or national level, is particularly effective at reducing pay gaps compared with the workplace-level bargaining the current U.S. system encourages. The Center for American Progress has proposed moving toward this broader type of collective bargaining in the private sector.

The above excerpt was originally published in Center for American Progress Action Fund.