The Union Effect in California

Unions remain the most effective vehicle for the power in numbers working people need to secure their rights at work and provide a pathway to the middle class. We will remain a strong and vibrant force for working people and will continue fighting to sustain our families, improve our workplaces and to make our communities stronger regardless of the court’s ruling in the Janus case.

Check out the “The Union Effect in California,” a three-part series by the UC Berkeley Labor Center exploring the ways in which unions affect the lives of all working people—both union members and nonunion members—in California.

The Union Effect in California #1: Wages, Benefits, and Use of Public Safety Net Programs
By bargaining together through unions, California workers increase their earnings by approximately $5,800 per worker annually, for a combined total of $18.5 billion. Union workers also have more access to health and retirement benefits, thereby reducing reliance on the state’s public safety net programs.

The Union Effect in California #2: Gains for Women, Workers of Color, and Immigrants
While all workers in California have higher wages and greater access to benefits when covered by a union contract, those workers who earn the least in nonunion workplaces—women, people of color, and immigrants—gain the most.

The Union Effect in California #3: A Voice for Workers in Public Policy
This study analyzes unions as a countervailing force to corporate power in the state. It explores union-backed policies promoting the rights of workers—union and nonunion alike—and addressing broader issues facing working families in the state.

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