Even though the unionization rate of all workers dropped by .2 percent from 2013, AAPI workers unionization rates continue to rise. “As the Asian American Pacific Islander workforce continues to grow, it’s exciting to hear that more AAPIs are becoming unionized,” said Johanna Puno Hester, APALA National President. “10.4% of AAPI workers have safe working conditions, flexible work hours, and better paying jobs as union members. Moreover, 11.8% of employed AAPI women work union jobs, up nearly 2 percentage points from a year ago.”
Union workers have access to stable health benefits and pensions that create a safety net for working class families. “AAPI workers are, with Latinos, the fastest-growing in the U.S. unionized workforce. In 2014, more than 1-in-17 union workers was Asian American or Pacific Islander, up from 1-in-40 two and a half decades earlier,” said Nicole Woo, Director of Domestic Policy at the Center of Economic Policy Research. “Unionized AAPI workers earn about $2.50 per hour more, are about 28 percent more likely to have health insurance coverage, and are about 52 percent more likely to have access to a retirement plan than AAPI workers who are not in unions.”
Since APALA’s founding in 1992, we have made clear that there is a positive difference when people join unions, including those in the AAPI community. Union workers’ weekly earnings are 27% higher than non-union workers; this translates to more than $10,000 a year. “Our nation’s unemployment rate continues to drop and is now below 6%,” said Gregory Cendana, APALA Executive Director. “We must continue to ensure that our communities have access to quality union jobs that can help workers become part of the middle class.”
Click HERE to read more about the Center for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) report on Asian American and Pacific Islander Workers’ Union Membership.