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Deirdre Fulton – How the Decline in Union Membership Is Hurting All of Us: Report

The decline of organized labor in the United States has contributed significantly to wage stagnation and rising inequality, according to a new report released Tuesday by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).

“Rebuilding our system of collective bargaining is an important tool available for fueling wage growth for both low- and middle-wage workers and ending the era of persistent wage stagnation.”
—Economic Policy Institute

The analysis finds that as the share of private-sector workers in a union has fallen precipitously—from one in three in the 1950s to about one in 20 today—wage inequality has risen as a result. In particular, EPI states that the labor movement’s decline has contributed to wage losses among workers who don’t even belong to a union, which “translates into millions of lost dollars to American workers.”

“Union decline has exacerbated wage inequality in the United States by dampening the pay of non-union workers as well as by eroding the share of workers directly benefiting from unionization,” reads the EPI report. “Rebuilding our system of collective bargaining is an important tool available for fueling wage growth for both low- and middle-wage workers and ending the era of persistent wage stagnation.”

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