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AFL-CIO Report: 2015 Represents Biggest Collective Bargaining Expansion in Modern History


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A new report from the AFL-CIO’s Center for Strategic Research shows that in the first half of the year working people have earned major victories, marking the most expansive period of collective bargaining in modern labor history

An estimated 5 million American workers have bargained for new contracts, the report asserts.  The wages associated with those contracts increase by an average of 4.3%, or $1,147 annually.  That mark is up from 2.9% during the same period in 2014.  

According to AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka:

“This country is having an important debate about raising wages and tackling income inequality.  This report provides clear evidence that joining a union and bargaining with your employer is the most effective way to give workers the power to raise their own wages. When working people speak with one voice, our economy is stronger, and all workers do better.”

The report reveals substantial victories in a wide array of fields, from nursing to airline piloting.  Grocery stores, health care, rail transportation, telecom and auto manufacturing combined for 31% of newly contracted workers in the private sector.

The report lists multiple major collective bargaining actions on the horizon:

Among the largest workforces negotiating in 2015 and 2016 are the U.S. Postal Service, freight rail’s National Carriers’ Conference Committee, and the Big Three auto manufacturers. Grocery stores and other food retailers will be the busiest at the bargaining table, with dozens of large retail contracts covering close to 400,000 workers. Additionally, hundreds of thousands of state government workers in California, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon and Pennsylvania will have cycled through contract negotiations by the end of 2016.

Read the report in its entirety via the AFL-CIO.


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