STATEMENT BY US SECRETARY OF LABOR THOMAS E. PEREZ ON THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS’ 2015 UNION MEMBERSHIP REPORT
WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez issued the following statement on the department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics report released today on union membership in 2015:
“With today’s Bureau of Labor Statistics’ report, we are reminded again that the labor movement continues to be one of the most powerful forces for strengthening the middle class and providing economic stability, for members and non-members alike.
“Median weekly earnings of full-time union workers ($975) were more than 25 percent higher than those of non-union workers ($776) in 2015. That’s not pocket change – it comes to more than $10,000 per year. That goes a long way toward writing the mortgage check, paying down the car loan, or even just keeping the kids in snow boots. And, that doesn’t even account for the superior benefits, safer workplaces and other advantages that come with union representation.
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There is a lot of information out there about joining a union, about collective bargaining, and about what is legal or not legal for employers and unions to do. We encourage you to take a look at as much information as possible. We just ask that you always consider the source of your information.
If you get information about unions from groups like the Heritage Foundation or the Cato Institute, or from websites like "unionfacts", it will be anti-union.
On the other hand, if you view information from the Economic Policy Institute, the Political Economy Research Institute or from websites like http://www.workingamerica.org/, it will likely be pro-union.
We are confident that the more information you look at, you will agree that your priorities are the same as that of our members and the IUOE. For "just the facts" on your rights to join a union, check out our "Your Rights"page.
“Plus, strong unions empower all working people, putting upward pressure on wages and labor standards throughout the economy. After all, you don’t need a union card to have benefitted from the advent of the weekend.
“So we all have skin in the game when unions are threatened and collective bargaining rights come under attack. When a larger percentage of workers belong to unions, the middle class grows and thrives. But research shows that a decline in union membership over roughly the last four decades is responsible for one-third of the growth in wage inequality among men and one-fifth of the growth in wage inequality among women.
“The Obama administration continues to push back against these attacks, exploring avenues for strengthening the right to organize and new strategies for giving workers greater voice on the job. We believe this essential to building an economy that works for everyone.
“We’ve made a dramatic turnaround in the last seven years – from a devastating recession to the highest levels of job growth since the late 1990s. But, there is still unfinished business. We must do more to ensure that all working families can share in the fruits of this recovery.
“When more workers are able to stand together and speak up for one another, negotiating for their fair share of the value they help create, it strengthens all of us. To restore balance to the economy and create shared prosperity, we need robust labor unions and powerful worker voice.”
Have more questions? Check out our "Resources" and "FAQ" pages. The Resources page provides links, downloadable documents about wages and benefits, a "cost of living" comparison of Houston and other more unionized areas of the country, and additional information on your guaranteed rights.
The Frequently Asked Questions page has responses to the questions that we hear from non-union workers on a daily basis. We have nothing to hide, if your question is not answered somewhere on this website, or if you need clarification on a topic please call, email, or visit one of our Locals!
This web page will be updated regularly with information intended to inform crane industry professionals about IUOE Locals 178, 234, 406, 450 and 627.
Even though our five Local Unions are all part of the 400,000 member IUOE, and we each have contracts with companies you are familiar with, each Local is its own separate organization. Check out theLocal Unions pagefor more information on each local and to see how the jurisdictions are set up.
We know some of you are former members, and we would like the opportunity to show you the changes and improvements that have taken place with our locals over the last few years. You can see what some of our long-time members, as well as new members, are saying about their experience on the Testimonials page.