According to the Department of Labor,
workers in unions earn 30% higher wages --
taking home $863 a week,
compared with $663 for the typical nonunion worker -- and are
59% more likely to have employer-provided health insurance than their nonunion counterparts.
Examples abound. In 2007,
12,000 janitors in Providence, R.I., New Hampshire and Boston,
represented by the Service Employees International Union,
won a contract that
raised their wages to $16 an hour,
guaranteed more work hours and
provided family health insurance.
In an industry typically staffed by part-time workers with a high turnover rate,
a union contract provided janitors with full-time, sustainable jobs that they could count on to raise their families' -- and their communities' -- standard of living.
65,000 Verizon workers,
represented by the Communications Workers of America,
won wage increases totaling
nearly 11% and
converted temporary jobs to full-time status.
Not only did the settlement preserve fully paid healthcare premiums for all active and retired unionized employees, but
Verizon also agreed to
provide $2 million a year to
with its unions to
national healthcare reform.