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Advantages to Being Union

Through collective bargaining, unions have helped raise the standard of living for millions of American workers. There is a distinct economic advantage in belonging to a union and working under a union contract with a union pay scale – particularly under an IUOE-negotiated collective bargaining agreement.

And it doesn't matter where you work: The pay scales below show Union heavy equipment operators earn more than non-union heavy equipment operators throughout the United States.

Construction Hourly Wage and Fringe Benefit Rates
Union vs. Non-Union by Region
Heavy Equipment Operator

Region One – CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT
Region Two – NJ, NY
Region Three – DE, MD, PA, VA, WV, DC
Region Four – AL, FL, GA, KY, MS, NC, SC, TN

Source: AGC of America: Craft Worker Compensation Research Report, January 2008
PAS (2007) and Construction Labor Research Council (2007)

 

Region Five – IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, WI
Region Seven – IA, KS, MO, NE
Region Eight– CO, MT, ND, SD, UT, WY
Region Nine – AZ, CA, HI, NV
Regions Six and Ten – Data incomplete – AR, LA, NM, OK, TX, AK, ID, OR, WA

Source: AGC of America: Craft Worker Compensation Research Report, January 2008
PAS (2007) and Construction Labor Research Council (2007)

In states that have laws restricting workers’ rights to form strong unions, the average pay for all workers is lower. So-called “right to work” for less laws that limit workers’ rights to collectively bargain contracts (including wages and benefits) are a bad deal for all workers. In 2006, average pay in so-called “right to work” states was 13.1 percent lower than in states where workers have the freedom to form strong unions.

Note: “Right to work” states are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming.  

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Includes workers covered by Unemployment Insurance and
Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) programs;
U.S. Census Bureau. Prepared by the AFL-CIO.