In Minnesota, construction workers are productive, high-skilled, and well-paid. Over 30 percent of these workers are members of a union. To maintain and increase membership, trade unions in Minnesota must continually demonstrate how workers benefit from contributing dues.
An analysis by the Midwest Economic Policy Institute (MEPI), The Impact of Construction Dues in Minnesota: An Organizational and Individual-Level Analysis [PDF], finds that construction unions in Minnesota offer many positive benefits to members:
- Union membership increases the after-tax income of construction workers by $7,720 annually;
- Unions increase construction worker health insurance coverage by 13.1 percentage points;
- Minnesota’s construction unions spend 75.5 percent of dues and fees on bargaining and representation;
- Only 1.4 percent of all membership dues and fees collected by construction unions in Minnesota are spent on political activities and lobbying – or $17.47 annually per member; and
- For every $1 paid in dues and fees, an estimated $5.59 is returned to members in the construction industry in after-tax income.
Construction trade unions do not only support members, however. Construction unions also impact the broader Minnesota labor market. Results from an economic impact analysis show:
- Unionized construction workers independently create over 9,000 additional jobs that would not exist in Minnesota without unionization – including over 1,300 direct jobs in labor organizations and almost 8,000 other jobs from the higher earnings and consumer spending of union households.
- The net impacts of unionized construction workers are an $808.6 million increase in Minnesota’s economic output and $99.5 million more in state income tax revenue than there would be without unionization.
At an annual cost of $1,381, union dues and fees increase wages by $7,720 after taxes – a $5.59 personal benefit per dollar invested. Membership also increases the likelihood that a construction worker has health insurance coverage, reduces construction worker poverty, and provides workers with a voice at work. Finally, union dues stimulate the broader Minnesota economy.
Any attempt to weaken trade unions in Minnesota, if successful, would reduce these positive impacts that unionized construction workers have on the state.
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So when u vote think carefully about the candidate that would most likely b Union friendly
Union workers are paid more than nonunion workers amongst all sectors. Unionized workers tend to have better training, higher educational attainment, and are more productive; thus, unionized workers are better paid than their nonunion counterparts. Unionized workers can also vote to decertify or opt out of paying certain dues, so unions must provide benefits and represent the employees. Higher earnings ($1 in dues to $5.59 in after-tax income) is one way construction unions show their importance to the employees amongst many other personal benefits.
Also, unionized contractors in the construction industry are more likely to win bids in prevailing wage states and in states with responsible bidder ordinances. The more projects a signatory contractor wins, the more unionized construction workers are put to work, often completing jobs on time with their high skill and productivity. 75 percent of peer-reviewed research has actually found that higher wages (prevailing wage) does not affect construction costs. Some research has even found that when construction workers are paid lower wages (not the prevailing wage) construction jobs take longer and actually cost taxpayers more than expected because the workers are unskilled.
Another reason why higher paid workers actually benefit taxpayers is because workers with middle-class wages do not need government assistance. Unionized workers are far less likely to use the SNAP program or other government assistance programs.
Here is some further research on unionization and higher earnings:
Click to access MEPI-LEP-Policy-Brief-Midwest-Road-and-Bridge-Construction-Workers-FINAL.pdf
Click to access union-wagedistr.pdf
Click to access Self%20Sufficent%20Construction%20Workers_ManzoCarroll.pdf
And in unionized construction, there is no gender wage gap. Construction has always been a gateway to secure income and stability. It is way past time that women had these opportunities. The goal of the Policy Group on Tradeswomen’s Issues and other tradeswomen’s organizations is #20percentby2020. Great research.
Where’s the fly in the ointment? There has to be an impact somewhere, you can’t just grow $5.59 out of$1.00, it has to come from somewhere. My guess is that the dollar amounts charged by the unions for the projects are higher than needed to cover the after tax wage increase and more. My job, one of them, was to review host nation contracts and find the additional costs not directly related to the actual cost of construction. This costs the taxpayers millions of dollars and although the union members see benefits the taxpayers get sticker shock.