Why Unions Matter: Living Wages When You Are a Building Contractor

Even when the economy is doing well and there are plenty of jobs available, jobs that pay a living wage are another matter. Unemployment rates are low at this time, but people still struggle to pay their bills and few have the savings they need to retire. In 2016, Go Banking Rates reported that 69% of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings. Despite this staggering statistic, wages continue to remain stagnant in many industries. For those in the building contractor industry, joining a union is the only way to get better wages and have the protection you need against an employer looking to cut costs by shortchanging employees.

Unions Protect the Average Worker

There are plenty of protections in place for large companies who make money off of the hard labor of their employees. With corporate tax breaks in place, these should trickle down to the employees of the company. Unfortunately, few workers are seeing the results of big tax breaks for corporations. Instead, the money goes to the executives of the company while leaving the average worker out of the mix. Unions work hard to get large companies to provide fair compensation to employees and help promote a better work environment for everyone.

Living Wages Are Important

It is estimated that the average worker helping to provide for a family of four in the United States needs to make about $16 an hour in order to pay their bills and cover the costs of living. With the federal minimum wage set at $7.25, this is a far cry from the money it takes in order to be self-sufficient in today's society. Without a living wage from one job, workers are forced to work plenty of overtime, a second job, and sometimes a third job. Without unions in place, employers are able to meet the minimum requirements by paying $7.25 an hour for most types of labor.

How Belonging to a Union Helps Stabilize Wages

In any large building project, most people are looking at ways to cut costs. With a union in place, wages for the laborers are more secure and other ways to cut costs are identified. Without unions in place, the pay of laborers is at risk of being cut to meet the demands of the project budget.

When you are a hard worker, be protected by a union. You deserve a livable wage, and if you have a decent hourly wage, chances are a union is responsible for the better wages. For more information, look into building contractor unions today.