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Union leaders represent an increasingly diverse union membership.  The share of union members who are women has climbed from 33.6% to 45.5% over the past three decades,[i] while the African-American community continues to boast the highest rate of union membership in the country.[ii]  As the demographics of union membership shift, it’s increasingly important to ensure that all members are enjoying the full benefits of union membership.  Our equity analysis examines:

  • Analysis of Proposed Contract Gains by Race, Gender, Age and Job Class

  • Analysis of Existing Job Classes, Experience and Wages To Identify Areas for Racial and Gender Equity Work

  • Analysis of Equity in Internal Staff Pay Rates

By evaluating whether contract benefits are shared equally by all members, union leaders can marshal support for equitable contract proposals, focus training where it’s needed most, and hold employers responsible for discrimination.


[i] Julie Anderson, Ariane Hegewisch and Jeff Hayes, The Union Advantage for Women (Institute for Women’s Policy Research, 2015), 1.

[ii] U.S. Department of Labor. “Union affiliation of employed wage and salary workers by selected characteristics, 2015-2016 annual averages.” Union Members – 2016 Table 1.

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