Middle and working class workers in today’s world face a great number of challenges. The cost of living is increasing at a rate faster than increases in wages and consumer debt is growing. Meanwhile, 1% of the US population controls 16% percent of its wealth, and the average CEO makes up to 400 times what the average worker does.
Unions are one of the only avenues where workers can raise their collective voice to address inequalities in wages, health care, and working conditions. But this voice has been hindered by employers and union busters, who use intimidation, illegal firings and delay tactics to sabotage organizing campaigns.
Portland Jobs with Justice joins and supports workers who are trying to organize and negotiate contracts, and we are dedicated to supporting our other community partners in the work they engage in.
Jobs with Justice supports organizing and collective bargaining campaigns because having a strong workforce that is free to organize not only benefits the union workers but the community as a whole. Mary King, former Chair of the Portland State University Economics Department and member of the Portland Worker’s Rights Board, says:
The clear record of economic analysis on collective bargaining is that: it raises wages at the bottom, it reduces inequality between the top, middle, and bottom of the scale; it reduces differences by race and sex; it pushes employers to provide more benefits proportionally as part of compensation; it raises productivity at the workplace and is even associated with better outcomes in places like hospitals; and by raising the bar in one part of the labor market, it creates pressure on non-union employers to raise wages an provide better benefits and working conditions, in order to compete to get the employees what they want.