Report: Unionization yields better pay, benefits for women workers

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Women in unions see a substantial boost in pay and benefits relative to non-union counterparts, according to a new report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

"Women Workers and Unions" shows that unionized women workers on average make 12.9 percent more than their non-union counterparts.

The research, released on Dec. 9, also shows that 36.8 of unionized women workers are more likely to have employer-provided health insurance and 53.4 percent more likely to have participated in an employer-sponsored retirement plan.

The research shows that unionization benefits women at every education level, but the largest effect is for women who have less formal education.

For a woman with a high school degree, joining a union is more likely to lead to her securing employee health care insurance or retirement benefits than earning a four-year college degree.

"Women are on track to become the majority of the union workforce in 10 years, but their rate of unionization is dropping, along with that of men," said Nicole Woo, who co-wrote the paper for the center. "Considering the great boost to pay and benefits that unions bring, it's important that anyone who cares about the well-being of women also care about unions."

The release of the report coincided with the 50th anniversary of the release of "American Women: Report of the Commission on the Status of Women." The commission was chaired by Eleanor Roosevelt and was tasked with "developing recommendations for overcoming discriminations in government and private employment on the basis of sex."