Common Dreams NewsCenter

We Can't Do It Without You!
 

Home | About Us | Donate | Signup | Archives | Search

Home > Progressive Community > NewsWire > For Immediate Release
   
Printer Friendly Version E-Mail This Article
   
Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR): Unionization Substantially Improves the Pay and Benefits of African Americans

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 31, 2008
9:31 AM

CONTACT: Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR)
Alan Barber, 202-293-5380 x115

 
Unionization Substantially Improves the Pay and Benefits of African Americans
Union Membership Plays Valuable Role in Countering Economic Inequality
 

WASHINGTON - March 31 - On April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, where he had traveled to support city sanitation workers who were striking for better pay and working conditions. While much has changed, a report released today by the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) shows that four decades after King's death, unionized African Americans continue to make more money and have better benefits than their non-union counterparts.

The report, "Unions and Upward Mobility for African-American Workers," found that unionized black workers earned, on average, 12 percent more than their non-union peers. In addition, black workers in unions were much more likely to have health-insurance benefits and a pension plan.

"The data demonstrate that unions raise wages and increase access to health insurance and pensions," said John Schmitt, a Senior Economist at CEPR and the author of the study. "Unions continue to be a central element of any plan to improve economic equality in this country."

The report, which analyzed data from the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey (CPS), found that unionization raises the pay of African-American workers by about $2.00 per hour. According to the report, black workers in unions were also 16 percentage points more likely to have employer-provided health insurance and 19 percentage points more likely to have an employer-provided pension plan than black workers who were not in unions.

According to the study, unionization has an even more dramatic effect on black workers in low-wage jobs. Among African-American workers in the 15 lowest-paying occupations, union members earned 14 percent more than those workers who were not in unions. In the same low-wage occupations, unionized black workers were 20 percentage points more likely to have employer-provided health insurance and 28 percentage points more likely to have a pension plan than their non-union counterparts.

Additional state-specific information is available from the following organizations:

California:
Jessica Goodheart
Co-Director of Research
Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE)
(323) 356-1081

Donald Cohen
Executive Director
Center on Policy Initiatives
www.onlineCPI.org
(619) 708-3367

Florida:
Emily Eisenhauer
Research Associate
Research Institute for Social and Economic Policy Center for Labor Research and Studies
(305) 348-1415
Fax: (305) 348-2241
Emily.Eisenhauer@fiu.eduThis email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it

Indiana:
Rochelle A. Finzel
Director, Institute for Working Families
Indiana Coalition on Housing and Homeless Issues (ICHHI)
(317) 636-8819 ext. 1255
Fax: (317) 361-4859
rfinzel@ichhi.orgThis email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it
www.ichhi.org

Maryland:
Sean Dobson
Executive Director
Progressive Maryland
(240) 393-6798

Nevada:
Joe Edson
Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, Reno Office
(775) 348-7557

New York:
David Dyssegaard Kallick
Senior Fellow
Fiscal Policy Institute
(212) 721-7164
(212) 721-5415
ddkallick@fiscalpolicy.orgThis email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it
www.fiscalpolicy.org

North Carolina:
John Quinterno
Research Associate
NC Budget & Tax Center
(919) 856-3185
john@ncjustice.orgThis email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it

Ohio:
Amy Hanauer
Policy Matters Ohio
(216) 361-9801
www.policymattersohio.org

Oregon:
Mike Leachman
Policy Analyst
Oregon Center for Public Policy
(503) 873-1201
mleachman@ocpp.orgThis email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it

Pennsylvania:
Mark A. Price, Ph.D.
Labor Economist
Keystone Research Center
(717) 255-7181
price@keystoneresearch.orgThis email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it
www.keystoneresearch.org

Texas:
Don Baylor
Center for Public Policy Priorities
(512) 320-0222 ext. 108
Baylor@cppp.orgThis email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it

Utah:
Allison Rowland, PhD
Budget and Research Director
Voices for Utah Children
(801) 364-1182
fax (801) 364-1186

Virginia:
Sara C. Okos
Policy Analyst
The Commonwealth Institute
(804) 643-2474 ext.118
sara@thecommonwealthinstitute.orgThis email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it

Washington:
Marilyn P. Watkins, Ph.D.
Policy Director
Economic Opportunity Institute
(206) 529-6370
marilyn@eoionline.orgThis email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it

West Virginia:
Ted Boettner
Executive Director
West Virginia Center on Budget & Policy
(304) 720-8682
tboettner@wvpolicy.orgThis email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it

Wisconsin:
Joel Rogers
Director
Center on Wisconsin Strategy / Center for State Innovation
(608) 262-4266
jrogers@cows.orgThis email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it

###

The Center for Economic and Policy Research is an independent, nonpartisan think tank that was established to promote democratic debate on the most important economic and social issues that affect people's lives. CEPR's Advisory Board of Economists includes Nobel Laureate economists Robert Solow and Joseph Stiglitz; Richard Freeman, Professor of Economics at Harvard University; and Eileen Appelbaum, Professor and Director of the Center for Women and Work at Rutgers University.

###

Printer Friendly Version E-Mail This Article
Common Dreams NewsCenter is a non-profit news service
providing breaking news and views for the Progressive Community.

The press release posted here has been provided to Common Dreams NewsWire by one of the many progressive organizations who make up America's Progressive Community. If you wish to comment on this press release or would like more information, please contact the organization directly.
*all times Eastern US (GMT-5:00)

Making News?
Read our Guidelines for Submitting News Releases

CommonDreams.org is an Internet-based progressive news and grassroots activism organization, founded in 1997.
We are a nonprofit, progressive, independent and nonpartisan organization.

Home | About Us | Donate | Signup | Archives | Search

To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good.


www.commondreams.org