Trade Unions

Want to improve your health? Join a union

Although some union decisions probably make you feel sick, overall, according to a recent US survey, union membership brings health benefits:

The research finds that more unionized American workers consider themselves healthy than do their non-union counterparts, an indication that membership is good for the body as well as the paycheck, said David Brady, a Duke sociology professor and co-author of the study.

“Unions are taking a beating in American culture,” Brady said. “But here we can say that not only are unions better for your wages, they’re good for your health.”

The study, which appears in the latest issue of Social Forces, examines survey results of more than 11,000 full-time workers, both union and non-union, who answered questions about their general health. The data is from the General Social Survey, a massive effort of the National Opinion Research Center providing more than three decades of data.

Dean Baker adds:

Given that unions provide a much greater degree of security on the job and protection against arbitrary actions by capricious bosses, it perhaps is not surprising to see that unions are associated with better health. After all stress can be a major factor leading to bad health.

About 26% of UK workers are union members, compared to about 11% in the US.

Hat Tip: Labour Start

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