Employers vs. Unions: Who Does More for Workers?

Earlier this week in The Wall Street Journal, Gabriel Rubin highlighted recent findings from the Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank – showing American workers age 16-24 are experiencing the fastest wage increases of any group.

Rubin writes, “Median hourly wages for workers age 16 to 24 were 10.6% higher in January than a year earlier, far exceeding the 4% overall gain for all workers…”

Despite record levels of inflation, that 12-month growth rate is the highest it has been in the past 25 years.  These strong earnings for hourly employees, who have just entered the workforce, are the result of intense competition among employers who are struggling to fill much needed positions.

America’s grocers, one of the few industries that hasn’t closed its doors since March 2020, have been a large driver of those wage increases – even hiring over 800,000 additional workers at the height of the pandemic.

Those wage increases and additional hires, however, have not been enough for bosses at the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW).  Currently, intransigent leaders of local UFCW chapters across Southern California are holding a divisive and needless “Week of Action” that will sow labor division under the guise of fighting on behalf of their workers.  

A better way union workers could immediately see more money in their paychecks would be for union bosses to pause collection of dues from the paychecks of struggling rank-and-file union members.  

As we previously reported, these frontline workers the UFCW should be supporting are actually being used to foot the bill for salaries and perks for UFCW bosses and employees. UFCW Local 770 members, for example, have had up to $1,600 taken out of their paychecks since the pandemic began in March 2020.  President John Grant earned more than $193,000 in 2020 – illustrating the wide pay gap between union leaders and the members they claim to represent.  

While union leaders were busy supporting politicians whose poor fiscal policies have caused record inflation, America’s employers in the grocery sector were stepping up and investing heavily in their workforce and even hiring more employees.

Who has really done more for workers since the pandemic began – well-paid union bosses, or employers?  The answer is obvious: the employers.

Read Rubin’s full article in The Wall Street Journal here.