Unions and Worker Power

Unions represent workers of all levels of education, and union workers are diverse, just like America. As of 2016, roughly 10.6 million of the 16.3 million workers covered by a union contract are women and/or people of color, and more than half (54.5 percent) of workers age 18 to 64 and covered by a union contract have an associate degree or more education.

The erosion of collective bargaining has undercut wages and benefits not only for union members, but for nonunion workers as well. This has been a major cause of middle-class income stagnation and rising inequality. Yet, millions of workers desire union representation but are not able to obtain it. Restoring workers’ ability to organize and bargain collectively for improved compensation and a voice on the job is a major public policy priority.

Care Economy

Ensuring access to high quality early childhood care and education would have enormous benefits for children, families, society, and the economy. Read More.

Manufacturing

The manufacturing sector is of vital importance in maintaining states’ innovative capacities. Read More.

So-Called “Right-to-Work”

So-called right-to-work (RTW) laws seek to hamstring unions’ ability to help employees bargain with their employers for better wages, benefits, and working conditions. Read More.

Publications

Publication

Brief: The state of labor organizing in Maine

At a glance:

  • Labor unions play an essential role in delivering better wages, benefits, and working conditions not just for their members, but for all workers
  • Women and people of color see even more pronounced gains in wages, retirement security, and health care coverage because of being union members
  • Labor unions contribute to increased civic and community engagement
  • Maine and the nation are seeing a resurgence in worker organizing across a wide range of sectors
  • Public support of unions is at a 60 year high despite the share of workers who belong to a union continuing to lag
  • Recent policy changes in Maine will improve opportunities for workers to organize and secure good jobs
  • Labor laws still fall short when it comes to upholding the rights of workers to organize and have greater say
Network Exclusive

Child Care Research Toolkit

The toolkit details and provides links to data resources, research papers, surveys, and policy recommendations on the following topics: Costs and benefits of child care; child care funding; child care participation and barriers to care; child care provider demographics and wages; and child care campaign strategy. This list will be updated with additional resources and as new data become available. Questions or suggestions? Email [email protected].

Last updated March 2023

Publication

Oregon’s semiconductor incentives package should focus on people and place

In creating a package of incentives to attract chip manufacturers, the Oregon legislature should prioritize investments that will deepen the state’s talent pool, promote equity, and strengthen its infrastructure. The drive to create an incentive package stems from the congressional enactment of the CHIPS Act, which pledges tens of billions of dollars to ramp up domestic semiconductor manufacturing. Understandably, Oregon lawmakers are eager to see some of that money flow to Oregon. In putting together a package to attract chip manufacturers intent on applying for the federal funds, lawmakers should resist calls for direct corporate subsidies, which are often ineffective. At the very least, any new corporate subsidy should come with guardrails to limit the risk to Oregon.

Data for the People

  • December 31, 2022
  • Tyler Mac Innis, Janet Bauer, Nhi Nguyen

All Oregonians deserve to live in dignity — to enjoy economic security and the possibility to thrive. This is doable. Oregon, after all, is a prosperous place, with enough resources for everyone to live well.

But for a vast number of Oregonians today, economic security feels like an impossible dream. At a time when the income of the richest Oregonians has reached record highs, many low-paid Oregonians can’t afford basic necessities such as food, housing, and health care. Economic insecurity afflicts Oregonians of all races. As a result of an economy designed to benefit the white and wealthy, it is especially pronounced among Black, Indigenous and other Oregonians of color.

Data for the People provides the latest publicly-available data on the economic well-being of Oregonians. To better reflect the realities of particular communities, wherever possible we break down data by race and ethnicity using Race, Ethnicity, Language, and Disability (REAL-D) categories developed by the Oregon Health Authority (OHA). For more information about this process, as well as data sources used throughout, see our detailed methodology.

The data make clear the need for Oregon to create an economy that is more equitable in its prosperity. OCPP’s Action Plan for the People lays out a policy roadmap to shift the economic system to benefit all Oregonians, not just the wealthy few. We invite you to explore this data set.