A Three-Part Series: The Union Effect in California
» Read What is at stake in Supreme Court ruling on Janus vs. AFSCME, op-ed in the San Francisco Chronicle by Ken Jacobs and Sarah Thomason.
» VIDEO: The Union Effect in California
“The Union Effect in California” is a three-part series exploring the ways in which unions affect the lives of all working people—both union members and nonunion members—in California. The studies were conducted as the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to issue a ruling in Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees that threatens to weaken public sector unions.
The first study, Wages, Benefits, and Use of Public Safety Net Programs, shows that by bargaining together through unions, California workers increase their earnings by approximately $5,800 per worker annually, for a combined total of $18.5 billion. Union workers also have more access to health and retirement benefits, thereby reducing reliance on the state’s public safety net programs.
By Ken Jacobs and Sarah Thomason
The second study, Gains for Women, Workers of Color, and Immigrants, shows that, while all workers in California have higher wages and greater access to benefits when covered by a union contract, those workers who earn the least in nonunion workplaces—women, people of color, and immigrants—gain the most.
By Sarah Thomason and Annette Bernhardt
The third study, A Voice for Workers in Public Policy, analyzes unions as a countervailing force to corporate power in the state. It explores union-backed policies promoting the rights of workers—union and nonunion alike—and addressing broader issues facing working families in the state. Included are policies in the areas of minimum wage, worker benefits, workplace safety, wage theft, employment-based sexual harassment, whistleblower protections, education, immigration, consumer protections, infrastructure and housing, climate policy, and criminal justice.
By Jenifer MacGillvary and Ken Jacobs
Are California’s unions dying? Membership falls to 14-year low
Mercury News | February 13, 2019
Outcome of Los Angeles teachers’ strike crucial for labor movement nationally
EdSource | January 24, 2019
The union movement’s ground zero is California
Los Angeles Times | October 10, 2018
Living with Janus, unions adapt
Capitol Weekly | July 16, 2018
Opinion: High court union dues ruling a blow to democracy
Op-ed by Ken Jacobs | The Mercury News | June 30, 2018
Can California’s public employee unions thwart U.S. Supreme Court’s Janus decision?
Orange County Register | June 27, 2018
Unjust Janus v. AFSCME decision won’t stop unions from fighting for all working people
Op-ed by Art Pulaski | Sacramento Bee | June 27, 2018
What comes next? Janus v. AFSCME
Sara Hinkley | Berkeley Blog | June 27, 2018
Opinión: Janus vs AFSCME, en defensa de los sindicatos
Op-ed by Ken Jacobs, Sarah Thomason, and Víctor Narro | La Opinión | June 22,2018
What is at stake in Supreme Court ruling on Janus vs. AFSCME
Op-ed by Ken Jacobs and Sarah Thomason | San Francisco Chronicle | June 22, 2018