Labor Day is a day to celebrate the U.S. workforce – all those people working hard each and every day.
“All workers want is a days work and a fair days wage so they can go home and feed their families, house them, have transportation to get to and from work and to live a decent life which in this country we call a middle class life” says Ann Marie Taliercio, President of the CNY Area Labor Federation, AFL-CIO.
The Federation represents over 100,000 workers in 11 upstate counties and is made up of 90 affiliated public sector, private sector, and building trades unions.
A recent Gallop Poll finds that support for unions continues to climb nationwide with 64% of Americans now approving of unions. That number is a 50-year high.
Taliercio says labor unions are important to “balance the power and the financial equity of work. We can have rich and poor but then we’re not going to have very good workers if they’re overworked and there is no health and safety and their dying. We need unions to promote the worker.”
A study released in August by the Economic Policy Institute found that
- Unionized workers earn on average 11.2% more in wages than non-unionized peers
- Unionized Hispanic workers are paid 20.1% more than their non-unionized peers
- Unionized Black workers are paid 13.7% more than their non-unionized peers
- Unionized White workers are paid 8.7% more than their non-unionized peers
- 94% of workers covered by a union contract have access to employer-sponsored health benefits, compared with just 68% of non-union workers
- 91% of workers covered by a union contract have access to paid sick days, compared with 73% of non-union workers