Unions Can Jump-Start Economy


The Teamsters have always been an early responder in times of crisis, donating and distributing emergency supplies, coordinating logistics, raising money for those in need and more. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Superstorm Sandy and countless other catastrophes, we have been there to help.

Watching the union’s response to the devastation of recent hurricanes has made me as proud of this union as I have ever been.

We face many challenges, but we are up for the fight. Even as elected officials have increasingly bought into corporate propaganda that argues more jobs will come if states do away with collective bargaining rights, unions aren’t backing down. When members are affected—whether from an employer, legislation unfair to working families or even natural disasters—the union family stands together.

Unions have a decades-long history of growing wealth for workers. Today, the median union worker makes more than $10,000 a year more than the median nonunion worker nationwide.

They are also much more likely to have retirement security due to a pension. But lawmakers are increasingly tamping down on workers’ rights.

The U.S. economy benefits more Americans when unions are strong. As Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Laureate and Chief Economist for the Roosevelt Institute, pointed out in “Rewriting the Rules of the American Economy” last year, “As unions fade, so too does their ability raise wages in the broader economy.”

Working people want the freedom to join together and negotiate a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work. And when they have more money to spend, they buy more products, creating more jobs and better wages for all workers.

Here is the reality: The American dream is slipping away for too many. Corporate offshoring and globalization have pushed U.S. wages down and put working people’s health and safety at risk.

Workers are tired of empty promises. Working people should have the freedom and rights to negotiate a fair return on their work.

While politicians fight with each other over how to fix income and gender inequality, the Teamsters and other unions have been effectively combating these issues successfully for decades.

Whether our members are being harmed by natural disasters or politician-caused disasters, the Teamsters Union is here to protect working families.