In 2024 it’s still better in a union


What lies ahead for labor in 2024?  Will the momentum gained by working people in 2023 continue into the new year? Was last year just the beginning of even more exciting and powerful wins for the working class?  Much has been discussed about 2023 being such a historic year for working people and the labor movement, and now all attention has turned towards the coming year and what it will hold. 

And just as we saw historic gains made in 2023 – including nearly a million workers winning a more than double-digit and life-changing pay increase due to the strength and the effectiveness of the labor movement – it’s fair to say that we’re indeed, just getting started. 

At a time of great disillusionment and precarity in society and across our nation’s economy, working people are looking around to see what might help them find some stability and some progress in an ever-changing and challenging world.  And as Americans are increasingly fed up with institutions, politicians, and the status quo, and with approval ratings for most major institutions – including Congress – plummeting, strong and growing support for the labor movement helps to showcase what we’ve said for years – life is better in a union. 

It’s not hard to see why. Look at all the wins workers have recently earned, together, and the change it’s making in the lives of union and non-union workers alike.  The Writers Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA took on the billionaires and Hollywood studios and won protections against artificial intelligence putting a spotlight on the real and understandable concerns workers have about technology and the disruption of entire industries.  The Teamsters took on UPS and won a historic contract after a credible strike threat was built.  The UAW won 25% pay raises for autoworkers at the Big 3 after more than a month on the picket line.  And look at healthcare workers, municipal laborers and public service workers, manufacturing workers, construction workers, and nurses right here in Oregon who put it all on the line and won big last year.      

These wins make it crystal clear that standing together with co-workers in a union makes a tangible difference in your life that you can feel every day. Workers in labor unions make 18% more in wages than our nonunion counterparts. We are more likely to have healthcare benefits. We work in safer workplaces. We have more job security—even and especially in moments of economic crisis. Countries where most workers are in a union are among the happiest and healthiest on Earth. Life is better in a union.  The future is better in a union.  Fighting those in power is better and more effective in a union.  And our democracy is stronger and more resilient when unions are strong and thriving. 

71% of Americans – and 9 out of 10 people younger than 30 – believe in unions right now because they see the tangible difference it can make when a group of workers comes together and collectively fights for fairness and justice.  And with young people, women, and workers of color leading some of the most high profile and inspirational organizing campaigns we’ve seen in a generation, the work of the labor movement in 2024 feels rather straightforward – to make sure every working person has a good job that pays a living wage.  And to embrace the leadership, the new ideas, and the energy felt in the organizing campaigns happening all around us, and in every sector of the economy. 

Workers are on the move, the momentum from 2023 is already impacting the landscape in 2024, and the labor movement will never stop fighting to unrig the rules of the economy and welcome any worker dreaming of a better life.  Not now.  Not ever.  In 2024, our fight for a fair and just economy for all will bring more victories for working people.  You can count on it. 


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Read more