Union Image: Large Grey letters spell out "UNION"

A union is a group of workers organizing to advance common interests such as wages, benefits, and working conditions.

To form a union, workers must file a petition, hold an election, and win by a majority vote. Workers represented by unions are able to participate in a process called collective bargaining with their employers. Unions help reduce income inequality and make sure that all workers benefit from the value that their labor creates.

Demands by unions in the twentieth century even created what we know as the working day: “eight hours for work, eight hours for rest, eight hours for what we will.” Beyond demanding good, high-paying jobs for all, unions also struggle for equality in the workplace: freedom from discrimination and harassment, safer and more transparent working conditions, and decision-making power.

Union membership was at its highest rate in 1945, but began to decline after a combination of deindustrialization and aggressive, anti-union political tactics in the 1970s weakened union power. Today, union organizing is on the rise: according to a 2022 report by the National Labor relations board, petitions to unionize rose by 57 percent.