5:06 PM Eastern - Wednesday, February 18, 2009

New Report: Employee Free Choice Act Could Create A $49 Billion Stimulus Package for the American Worker

Economythatworks.jpgIn a new report for the Center for American Progress Action Fund, researchers David Madland and Karla Walter argue that a more-unionized workforce would lead towards a stronger economy for the United States.

According to the report, the key to a sustainable economy is to increase the purchasing power of hard-working Americans - and one way to do that is by passing the Employee Free Choice Act.

"Unions paved the way to the middle class for millions of American workers and pioneered benefits such as paid health care and pensions along the way," say Madland and Walter. "The Employee Free Choice Act...holds the promise of boosting unionization rates and improving millions of Americans' economic standing and workplace conditions."

Their main findings?

  • If the number of union workers increased by just 5%, an estimated $49 billion more in wages and salaries would be introduced into the American economy each year.
  • Union workers are 28.2% more likely to be covered by employer-provided health insurance.
  • 53.9% of union workers are more likely to have employer-based pensions, enabling a financially-secure retirement after years of hard work.
Increasing wages is key to the American economy. Consumer activity "accounts for roughly 70 percent of our nation's economy." Right now, Americans literally don't have the money to spend on goods and services, leading to the vicious cycle that we currently find our economy in.

The report also notes that increasing the percentage of unionized workers also benefits the non-unionized. "Non-union workers, particularly in highly unionized industries," says Madland and Walter, "receive financial benefits from employers who increase wages to match what unions would win" in order to stay competitive.

The report concludes that one of the best ways of achieving this increase in union households is the Employee Free Choice Act:

"Workers attempting to unionize currently face a hostile legal environment and are commonly intimidated by aggressive anti-union employers. The Employee Free Choice Act would help workers who want to join a union do so by ensuring fairness in the union selection process."

Click here to access the state-by-state reports.

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