For Women, Unionism is Huge Boost

A recent study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research looked into the effects of unionism on women in the workplace. The results of women being in a union compared to non unionized women, even with a college degree, are dramatic.

Being in or represented by a union compared well to completing college in terms of wages, especially once tuition costs are factored in. All else equal, being in a union raises a woman's pay as much as a full year of college does. For the average female worker, a four-year college degree boosts wages by over half (51.9 percent) relative to a similar woman who has only a high school degree. In comparison, unionization raises a woman’s pay by 14.7 percent – over one-quarter of the effect of a college degree.

The union impact on the probability that a female worker has health insurance or a retirement plan through her employer was even larger than the impact on wages. At every education level, unionized women are more likely to have employee benefits than their non-union counterparts with similar characteristics. In fact, for a women worker with a high school degree, being in or represented by a union raises her likelihood of having health insurance or a retirement plan by more than earning a four-year college degree would.

The union advantage is largest when looking at employer-provided retirement plans. Women in or represented by unions are 53.4 percent more likely to have pension coverage than those not in unions, which is also larger than the corresponding effect of a four-year college degree (43.6 percent).

You can read the full report here. One thing is clear, so-called "right-to-work" is very bad for everyone, but especially women.