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|Unions Making a Difference for Business|
A union presence can have significant benefits for business. As CEO Bill Zahner, of architectural metal company A. Zahner put it, "I know that working with the union can save dollars and get me the most talented work." Unions not only make workplaces safer and more productive, but also raise professional standards and work with management to keep companies in business. Unions:
Make the workplace more productive. Across the economy, unions raise productivity by 19% to 24% in manufacturing, 16% in hospitals, and between 17% and 38% in the construction sector.1
Partner with companies to increase efficiency and productivity.
Make workplaces safer. Union workers are often better trained on health and safety rules and union workplaces are more likely to enforce Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards.2
Work with management to keep businesses up and running.
Decrease turnover. Because unions improve communication in the workplace, workers can improve their situation without leaving, and unionized plants have less turnover.4
Raise professional standards and increase opportunities for worker training. Workplaces with unions are more likely to offer formal training,5 and many unions operate their own training programs.
1. Dale Belman, “Unions, the Quality of Labor Relations, and Firm Performance,” in Unions and Economic Competitiveness, Lawrence Mishel and Paula B. Voos, eds., Armonk NY: M.E. Sharpe, 1992, 41-107
2.David Weil, "Enforcing OSHA: The Role of Labor Unions," Industrial Relations 30.1 (1991): 20-36.
3. Thomas Croft, "Saving Jobs and Investing in Labor's Future: The Steel Valley Authority," Perspectives on Work, Summer 2004.
4. Belman; Harley Shaiken, “The High Road to a Competitive Economy: A Labor Law Strategy,” Center for American Progress, June 25, 2004, pp. 7-8.
5. Harley J. Frazis, Diane E. Herz, and Michael W. Horrigan, “Employer-Provided Training: Results from a New Survey,” Monthly Labor Review 3–17; May 1995.
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American Rights at Work is a nonprofit advocacy organization dedicated to promoting the freedom of workers to organize unions and bargain collectively with employers.