Better Name for UNIONS – Group that Insures Women Equal Pay for Equal Work

Woolworth Strike

Why do the governors of Wisconsin and Ohio hate women and old people?  I mean their support of bills to strip government unions of their collective bargaining power is focused squarely on teachers, 80 percent of which are women AND union membership is highest among 55-64 year-old workers (15.7%) than 16-24 year-old workers (4.3%).

Yes, I said it!  I am playing the sexist card!  Why?  Because union workers make up just 11.9 percent of the workforce and the states of Wisconsin and Ohio do not even constitute one of the highest union member states.  So why the focus on teachers and public servants?  Their salaries are paid by local city and town governments, not the state, based on taxes of the people who reside there.  Today, with employee morale is at its lowest point in 15 years says a Hewitt Analysis survey, why is everyone so focused on unions?  Is it because Hollywood makes them out to be unsavory?  Hollywood is the mirror of our everyday lives after all.  I’m pretty sure it’s because so few people belong to unions..and..the name needs to go.  Unions exist today by many other names – coalitions, groups, alliances, organizations – they all use their influence to affect something in the business world, but unions have a bad connotation and, frankly, I am not REALLY a fan…until I understand some of the facts.

According to a Center for Economic and Policy Research study, Unions and Upward Mobility for Women Workers, in “2007, 45 percent of union members were women.”  And, that union membership makes a huge impact for women says the study:

  • Unionized women workers earned, on average, 11.2 percent more than their non-union peers.
  • Women in unions were much more likely to have health insurance benefits and a pension plan.
  • Unionization raises the pay of women workers by almost $2.00 per hour.
  • Women workers in unions were 19 percentage points more likely to have employer-provided health insurance, all the more significant, since women pay higher premium rates individually than men.
  • Women workers were 26 percentage points more likely to have an employer-provided pension plan than women workers who were not in unions.
  • Among women workers in the 15 lowest-paying occupations, union members earned 14 percent more than those workers who were not in unions.

According to the study’s author, John Schmitt, “For women, joining a union makes as much sense as going to college,” said John Schmitt, “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.”

Actors Equity Strike 1919

That’s important since, “In 2009, women earned about 75% as much as male counterparts at all levels of education,” says a Marketwatch.com story summarizing a new government report.

Are we really all that surprised that union membership is highest in the public sector at 36.2 percent compared to the private sector at 6.9 percent according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Would you trust the government with your livelihood?  Does their track record favor trust and competence?  If you worked in a government job, would you join the union if you knew you would have support and leadership backing you?  Remember, the public sector churns, ideals are replaced and attitudes are influenced.

So, again, why all the focus on unions?  We need to put our energy into more important issues than, is Charlie Sheen going to get his kids back or will Kim Kardashian marry Scott.   More importantly,  I want to see Obama’s birth certificate.  Last I heard, some GOP lawmaker said he grew up in Kenya!  I’m going to search the web right now for pictures.

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