Why unions are good for workers—especially in a crisis like COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored both the importance of unions in giving workers a collective voice in the workplace and the urgent need to reform U.S. labor laws to arrest the erosion of those rights. During the crisis, unionized workers have been able to secure enhanced safety measures, additional premium pay, paid sick time, and a say in the terms of furloughs or work-share arrangements to save jobs. These pandemic-specific benefits build on the many ways unions help workers. Following are just a few of the benefits, according to the latest data:

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Executive Paywatch

In 2019, CEOs of S&P 500 companies received, on average, $14.8 million in total compensation. The average S&P 500 company CEO-to-worker pay ratio was 264-to-1. The imbalance in our economy between the pay of CEOs and working people continues to be a problem.

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IATSE 784 Members Heed the Call of Duty

Shortly after the shelter-in-place orders were given in the Bay Area, many members of IATSE Local 784 — the Theatrical Wardrobe Union — who work in varying capacities in the entertainment industry found themselves out of work. However, instead of focusing on their own plight, members have taken the initiative to put their skills to benefit others and the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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