The Numbers Prove It: It Pays to Belong to the Union

A Jan. 24 Department of Labor report [PDF] demonstrates the value of union membership, says APWU Organizing Director Anna Smith.

“The report shows that unionized full-time wage earners receive higher pay than workers who are not represented by unions,” she said. The median weekly earnings of union members for 2013 were $950, compared to $750 for nonunion workers. The report also shows that union members have greater access to benefits, such as health insurance, retirement plans, and paid leave and holidays.

Commenting on the report, Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez said, “Workers’ ability to form unions and engage in collective bargaining has been a cornerstone of a strong middle class. The decline in union membership over the last few decades has contributed to more working families struggling to get by. When workers have a seat at the table, they are better able to bargain for their fair share of the value they helped create; and that leads to greater economic security and economic mobility for everyone. As our economy continues to recover and we work to create good jobs, we need to ensure workers can lift their voices to raise wages, reduce inequality and help more people climb ladders of opportunity.”

Woefully, data compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that only 11.3 percent of America’s workers belong to unions, and just a meager 6.7 percent of all private-sector employees are union members. “We are fortunate to have a union and everyone who enjoys it benefits needs to support it,” Smith said.

“APWU-represented employees have a distinct advantage over unrepresented employees in the postal workforce, thanks to the support of dues paying members,” she said. “You only have to look back to the pay and benefits casuals received to see what the USPS would pay us if it weren’t for the union. Casuals received far less pay, had no job security, no benefits and no protection against unfair treatment,” Smith added.

“In today’s postal climate, with the Postmaster General contracting out our work and consolidating facilities, there is no excuse not to belong to the APWU,” Smith declared. “We are not in a position to tolerate non-members taking a free ride. They reap the benefits and must be held accountable to pay their share. We don’t pay their gas bill and we shouldn’t be expected to pay their union bill. We need everyone’s support if we are going to thrive in the future.”

Members are encouraged to join forces to persuade non-members to join the APWU. The enrollment form (Form 1187) [PDF] is available to download online, or can be obtained by contacting your local union representative or the Organizing Department at 202-842-4227.

  • Donn Durham

    Interesting, since Anna Smith never asked me to join the union when I joined the maintenance craft 3 years ago. When I transferred to Atlanta, I was asked my first week. That’s our new Organizational Director… What a joke!

    • Durwood Dunham

      Damn right! I would never join a union that didn’t give me an engraved invitation! Don’t they know you’re Donn Durham for chrissake?? Sheesh!

  • Fredabdal Ghaffar

    USSC 99-565 & supplement (Union and Management Collude (RICO)). Selective persecution for personal gain / nepotism.

  • PTF

    Take care of PTF in small offices then, make them all Regular
    30 years as PTF Union no HELP

    • CLERK

      This is so true, why should some PTF become regular when we all works just as hard ,just because we are in small officounted for……level18 with a large support of the community works hard daily..This contract should have included ALL PTF’s..

  • bre

    I’m sorry, but I refuse to join a union that supports regulars who not only abuse their “guaranteed 8 hours” policy, but even slack off on low-workload days in order to achieve overtime. I also don’t agree with seniority > competency when it comes to certain job bids.

    • common sense

      So I assume you don’t work for the USPS any more? Because it would be pretty hypocritical to accept the pay and benefits you get thanks to the union, wouldn’t it?