Some great news for working women came out today. A new study shows that joining a union raises a woman's wages and benefits on par with having a college education.
The report, "Unions and Upward Mobility for Women Workers," found that unionized women workers earned, on average, 11.2 percent more than their non-union peers. In addition, women in unions were much more likely to have health insurance benefits and a pension plan.
"For women, joining a union makes as much sense as going to college," said John Schmitt, a Senior Economist at CEPR and the author of the study. "All else equal, joining a union raises a woman's wage as much as a full-year of college, and a union raises the chances a woman has health insurance by more than earning a four-year college degree."
This is really quite important, especially in tough economic times. We need working people to have higher wages and better benefits to help get our economy going again. Now we have evidence that joining a union can be as helpful for women as going to college.
The stats also show why it's important Congress takes up & passes the Employee Free Choice Act early in 2009. The Employee Free Choice Act gives workers the free choice to join unions and the chance to bargain for better wages, benefits, and retirement security. Passing the Employee Free Choice Act can result in real wage increases for millions of women and will help get our economy going again.
It's time our economy worked for everyone again. It's time for the Employee Free Choice Act.