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NEW STUDY: Unionized Latinos Earn $11,544 More Per Year Than Non-Unionized Peers

Image via Fox News

Image via Fox News

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A new report from the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) shows that latino workers who are members of unions have distinct advantages over their non-union peers. 

“Latino Workers and Unions: A Strategic Partnership for America’s Progress” provides the latest data on the wages and benefits afforded Latino workers through union membership.  The report also recommends that unions begin extensive outreach to the Latino community in order to impact workers’ rights and increase their own power.

According to LCLAA Executive Director, Hector Sanchez:

“Latino and immigrant workers are making significant contributions to our country, but are facing unprecedented challenges at the workplace and in their communities. Over 6.8 million Latino workers are earning poverty level wages and need the economic security the labor movement has ensured for America’s middle class.  This report highlights the important partnership that can be achieved through organizing to improve the quality of life for Latinos and strengthen America’s labor movement.”

Among the report’s key findings is a whopping $11,544 difference in yearly wages. Additionally, non-unionized Latinos face higher levels of wage theft and mortality while receiving the lowest quality pension and health insurance coverage. 

To combat the situation facing non-unionized Latinos, the LCLAA recommends intensified union outreach. Eric Alfaro, LCLAA’s Young Latinos United Chair, says: “As a bilingual Latino organizer, I know firsthand that in order for unions to succeed, we have to engage Latino workers in a bold way.  Union’s give Latinos a voice at the job and lift us out of poverty.”

One bright spot is a rising rate of Latino union involvement, according to the Latin Post:

While overall union membership rates have declined, the rate of Latinos joining the labor movement has increased. During 2014, more than 26 million Latinos represented 15 percent of the labor force, but not as many Latinos are engaged with unions. LCLAA mentioned more Latino men are represented in a union than Latinas. As of 2014 data, nearly 1.29 million Latinos were represented in a union, while 933,000 Latinas were represented.

The report supplies the following raw dats via the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

• In 2014, 9.2% of Latino workers were members of a union.  
• In 2011, 2,015,000 Latinos were represented or members of a union. This number grew 6.25% to 2,220,000 in 2014.  
• 1,186,000 Latino men were represented or were members of a union in 2011. This number grew 6.74% to 1,286,000 in 2014.  
• 829,000 Latina women were represented or members of a union in 2011. This number grew 12.3% to 933,000 in 2014.
• The number of workers who were union members or were represented by a union went from 16,290,000 into 2011 to 16,152,000 in 2014.  
• By age, the union membership rate was highest among workers ages 45 to 64 – 13.8% for those ages 45 to 54 and 14.1% for those ages 55 to 64.2  
• The lowest union membership rate was among workers in the 16 to 24 age bracket at 4.2%.

The report is available in English and Spanish via LCLAA.


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