By Jumoke Balogun, SEIU International
A new report by the Center for American Progress details how unions are essential to rebuilding and sustaining the middle class. According to the Census Bureau, the middle class received only 45.7 percent of the nation’s income last year, an historical low, compared to the peak of 53.2 percent in 1968. Further, the middle class’s declining wealth directly correlates to the decline of union membership. Four decades of union decline translate to four decades of struggle for the middle class.
These are unnerving times for American workers. They work more but earn less, while corporations post record profits, a shrinking middle class sees their savings dwindle and wages stagnate. Unions create a more prosperous middle class by ensuring that workers are justly compensated. If union membership surges up to 1980s figures, every middle class household would earn $1,532 more per year. More money in the pockets of middle class families means more money for their communities to invest in infrastructure, schools and other important public services. It’s simple: when workers are better off, our country is better off.
Read the full CAP report here.