Janus v. AFSCME Decision May Hinder Progress on Closing the Gender Wage Gap

Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 27, 2018
Contact: Jennifer Clark | 202-785-5100 | clark@iwpr.org

Janus v. AFSCME Decision May Hinder Progress on Closing the Gender Wage Gap

Research finds women in unions earn 30% more than non-unionized women

Washington, DC—Today, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down a 5-4 ruling that will weaken the collective bargaining power of unions by barring public sector unions from collecting fair-share fees from workers who benefit from union representation. Research from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) shows women especially benefit from unionization, with unionized women earning $219 more per week, or 30 percent more, than non-unionized women.

Women of color are especially likely to benefit from the collective bargaining power of labor unions. Non-union Hispanic women have the lowest earnings of any racial/ethnic group of women, $565 weekly, but Hispanic women in unions earn $264 more weekly, 47 percent more, than those who do not have access to collective bargaining.

IWPR President Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D., released the following statement on the decision:

“Unions play an essential role in boosting the quality of jobs around the country and the research shows that women and people of color especially benefit from the collective bargaining power unions provide. Labor unions have been at the forefront of the fight for fair pay and helped secure labor standards that are cornerstones of the American workplace, including the 40-hour work week, a national minimum wage, premium pay for overtime, health insurance, and family and medical leave. The social science evidence is clear: weakening the collective bargaining power of unions will threaten the progress we have made in closing the gender wage gap and achieving equal pay for women.”

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization that conducts and communicates research to inspire public dialogue, shape policy, and improve the lives and opportunities of women of diverse backgrounds, circumstances, and experiences. IWPR also works in affiliation with the Program on Gender Analysis in Economics at American University.

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