Can Labor Unions Shrink the Racial Wealth Gap?

Almost 16 million workers in the United States are represented by labor unions. Dating back to the Industrial Revolution in Europe, labor unions have given workers the power to negotiate higher wages, better benefits and safer working conditions. In addition to giving workers a voice in the workplace, unions can play an important role in shrinking the racial wealth gap, a chasm that has existed for generations. 

“Unions help all workers, but because they help Black and Hispanic workers more, they narrow the income gap and the income gap contributes to the wage gap,” says Monique Morrissey, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute

The racial wealth gap is rooted in discrimination that denied communities of color the wealth-building policies that helped the middle class expand in the United States.

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