The Union Difference

Why You Need a Union

By coming together in union, working people win better wages and benefits while gaining a voice on the job. Good union jobs mean stronger communities. People in unions lead the fight today for better lives for working people. Union members have also been on the front lines of the fight for civil rights. By joining together, we can negotiate stronger benefits such as non-discrimination protections and trans-inclusive healthcare.

Working people who band together in union earn better wages and benefits than working people who aren’t union members. On average, working people in union receive wages that are 30 percent higher than their nonunion counterparts. People in unions help employers create a more stable, productive workforce—where working people have a say in improving their jobs.

The Union Difference

  • A legally-binding union contract is the best protection LGBTQ working people can obtain to fight employment discrimination. In a majority of states, there is no law to protect LGBTQ+ people from workplace discrimination. Since June 2020, LGBTQ+ employment discrimination has been illegal under federal law, but a collective agreement can provide assistance and support that is not available to non-union workers.
  • Negotiating a contract raises wages — especially for women and people of color. By standing together, union members are able to negotiate higher wages.
  • People in unions help bring low-wage workers out of poverty.  Union members in low-wage occupations on average earn a great deal more than non-union workers in the same occupations, often lifting their earnings above the official poverty level.

What Is A Constituency Group?

The AFL-CIO’s constituency groups are officially recognized organizations that serve as a bridge to diverse communities, creating and strengthening partnerships to enhance the standard of living for all working people and their families. The groups also promote the full participation of women and minorities in the union movement and ensure unions hear and respond to the concerns of the communities we represent.