Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

Union women outearn non-union women in every state

The Teamsters have repeated noted that it pays to be in a union. It doesn't matter who you are. And a new report looking at women in the workplace further proves that fact.

Teamster women gathered at annual conference last week.

Unionized women make more than their non-union sisters in every state, with gaps ranging from $48 weekly in D.C. to $349 in Wyoming, an Institute for Women's Policy Study document shows. All told, the median wage gap nationwide between union women and non-union women is $212 weekly. That's greater than the $173 wage gap for men.

The gaps are the largest in the low-density right-to-work states. Wyoming’s $349 translates into a 53 percent weekly wage advantage for union women there. The second and third largest gaps are in South Carolina (46 percent) and Louisiana (42 percent).

The median weekly gap between union and non-union working women is even larger for Latinas, the report says. Unionized Latinas earn $739, while non-union Latinas earn $520. White unionized women earn $923 weekly, while non-union white working women earn $704. Unionized African-American women earn $788, while their non-union sisters earn $590.

Except for management, business, financial, professional and sales occupations, union women also enjoy a wage gap over their non-union counterparts, the report says. They have a 95.5 percent gap in construction, natural resources and maintenance jobs. Other advantages are 26.7 percent in production, transportation and materials, 26.4 percent in services and 22.2 percent in administrative support and office occupations.

But the advantages don't stop with the paycheck. They extend into benefits as well:

Women who are labor union members (or covered by a union contract) are more likely to participate in a pension plan than those who are not unionized. Approximately three in four unionized women (74.1 percent) have a pension plan, compared with only slightly more than four in ten (42.3 percent) of their nonunion counterparts. Among the largest racial and ethnic groups, the difference in participation rates between union members and nonunion members ranges from about 27 percentage points for black women to about 35 percentage points for Asian/Pacific Islander women.

Women who are members of a labor union (or covered by a union contract) are also more likely to receive health insurance benefits through their job than those who are not unionized. As of 2013, approximately three in four unionized women (76.6 percent) had employer- or union-provided health insurance coverage, compared with about half (51.4 percent) of their nonunion counterparts. Among the largest racial and ethnic groups, the difference between coverage rates for union members and nonunion members was greatest for Hispanic women and women who identify with another race or two or more races (29.2 and 27.4 percentage points, respectively).

The Teamsters just concluded our annual Women's Conference last week. The event brought in more than 1,000 attendees who can attest the value of union membership. They know the strength that comes from being organized in the workplace. Here's hoping others will as well soon.

  • Press Associates contributed to this report.

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