70% of U.S. skilled and hourly workers would consider joining a union

Social job platform Jobcase just released results from its survey aimed at uncovering U.S. skilled and hourly workers’ sentiment towards unions and the top reasons they might consider joining one now.

The findings show that after decades of declining union membership, 70% of non-union skilled and hourly workers in the U.S. are likely to consider voting to join a union now at their primary place of work if given the opportunity.

Millennials are the most likely to consider doing so, with 76% saying they are likely to consider voting to join a union now at their primary place of work if given the opportunity, compared to 73% of Gen Z, 66% of Gen X and 62% of Boomers.

“While skilled and hourly workers were rightly heralded as heroes during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, not enough has been done since then to provide these hard-working Americans with higher pay or clear pathways to their success,” said Fred Goff, co-founder and CEO of Jobcase. “The lack of progress has caused embers of union movements to fan into flames as workers take action to demand better.”

Fred Goff, Jobcase

Additional key findings of the survey include:

Workers more likely to consider joining a union now than 3 years ago

  • Among non-union U.S. skilled and hourly workers, 41% are more likely to consider joining a union now, if given the opportunity, than 3 years ago. Fifty percent have a favorable opinion of unions, with 21% saying they have a very favorable opinion. Another 58% believe that unions have their members’ best interests at heart, though 17% disagree.

The top three reasons workers might consider joining a union now

  • Non-union U.S. skilled and hourly workers cited an increase in pay (57%), improved benefits (56%), and job protection (49%) as the top three reasons they might consider joining a union now. Although Gen Z are generally less likely than other generations to find reasons to join a union now, they are the most likely to say improving their hours and schedule would be a reason to join a union at 44% compared to 40% for Millennials, 28% for Gen X and 28% for Boomers.

Workers want better, fair treatment and believe unions can help

  • Sixty seven percent of non-union U.S. skilled and hourly workers say it is very or extremely important for unions to advocate for the fairness of how workers are valued versus executives and owners/investors. Separately, 34% say that improving how workers are compensated versus executives and owners/investors and 31% say that getting better treatment from management are reasons they might consider joining a union now.

Goff continued, “In addition to advocating for better pay and benefits on their behalf, skilled and hourly workers are interested in how unions can accelerate better, fairer treatment. Employers, and unions, should not slip into legacy thinking of this as an adversarial conversation, but rather should embrace this worker advocacy to achieve change via addition not division.

Three years after the Business Roundtable’s commitment to Stakeholder Capitalism, partners are emerging to help CEOs land their stated commitment to a more balanced system for workers.”

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