EPI: Veterans Fought for Collective Bargaining—Congress Should Defend It

Labor News

Reprinted from The Economic Policy Institute by Celine McNicholas and Elise Gould on November 9, 2017.

“This weekend, Americans will observe Veterans Day, honoring the 20.9 million men and women who have served in our nation’s armed forces,” write Celine McNicholas and Elise Gould for The Economic Policy Institute. “Over the last several years, many of these veterans have seen their job opportunities improve as the economy recovers from the Great Recession. Unfortunately, a large number of veterans are working in low-wage jobs. In fact, 1 out of every 5 veterans would benefit from raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2024. In addition to raising the minimum wage, Congress should ensure that workers who have fought to preserve our freedoms return to workplaces where they have the freedom to join together to bargain for better wages and working conditions. On average, a worker covered by a union contract earns 13.2 percent more in wages and is much more likely to have health and retirement benefits than a peer with similar education, occupation, and experience in a nonunionized workplace in the same sector. A testament to the importance of union for wages and working conditions, veterans are disproportionately more likely to work in a unionized workplace. Compared to a 12 percent coverage rate overall, 16 percent of veterans—or 1.2 million veterans—are in a union or covered by a union contract. …

Economic Policy Institute 11/9

About Jeffrey Burman 3090 Articles
Jeff Burman represents assistant editors on the Guild’s Board of Directors. He can be reached at jeffrey.s.burman.57@gmail.com.

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