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Why Become a Union Laborer?  

In today's job market, many people can't afford to be stuck in a dead-end job. They need to earn good wages, receive quality health care benefits and a pension plan. Workers also need job stability, a sense that their hard work will be rewarded.

With close to 100 years of experience and 800,000 members worldwide, the Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA) has both the strength and know-how to advance the interests of its working men and women.

LIUNA is known world-wide for providing the construction industry's most versatile workforce. But it also represents workers from numerous other fields, as well, including education, environmental remediation, security, sports and entertainment service employees, sanitation and recycling, manufacturing and more.

The Union Difference  

Union membership improves the lives of working families by giving members a strong voice. On the job, this means union members receive better wages and benefits, enjoy greater job stability and are more productive.

Union workers earn 32 percent more than nonunion workers, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The union difference is even greater for women and people of color: Union women earn 39 percent more than nonunion women, African Americans in unions earn 45 percent more than nonunion counterparts and for Latino workers, the union advantage totals 54 percent.

• Among union workers, 85 percent in medium-sized and large establishments had health care benefits in 1995, compared with 74 percent of nonunion workers.

• Eighty-seven percent of union workers had pension plans in 1995, compared with 78 percent of nonunion workers. And union members' pensions are better: 79 percent of union workers – compared with 44 percent of non union workers – have "defined benefit" retirement coverage that provides a guaranteed monthly payment rather than "defined-contribution" plans, in which benefit amounts depend on how well the underlying investments perform.

• Nearly half of union workers have been with their current employer for at least 10 years, while only 22 percent of nonunion workers have that degree of job stability.

Unions increase productivity: Most studies show that union workplaces are more productive. Shared decision-making, better training and lower turnover make a difference. **

** From AFL-CIO: A Voice for America's Working Families.

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