More than ever, ‘Union Wages Buy More’ Skip to content

More than ever, ‘Union Wages Buy More’

Union members really have only one choice for president this fall – and it isn’t Donald Trump.

2 min read

This 74-year-old union retiree (American Federation of Teachers) remembers those old Kentucky State AFL-CIO novelty license plates that proclaimed “Union Wages Buy More.”

That’s true more than ever today. “Union members in the United States saw record raises, while nonunion workers’ pay barely beat inflation over the past 12 months, latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data shows,” says Thursday’s Team AFL-CIO Daily Brief in a short synopsis headlined “It’s Better in a Union: U.S. Union Members See Record Pay Raises, Outpacing Nonunion Workers.”

The brief also cites BLS statistics released on Tuesday that showed “wages of private sector union members have risen 6.3% since March 2023. Meanwhile, their nonunion counterparts only saw a 4.1% bump in their salaries. This comes after several months of high-profile strikes and organizing activity across industries, from coast to coast.”

You can bet the big-bucks, right-wing union-despisers and their right-wing allies in government, most notably Donald Trump, are itching to roll back the progress unions are making. We hate to sound like a broken record (I’m showing my age), but come this fall, it behooves every union member in America to vote like his or her union depends on it, because it does.

“Donald Trump told us in 2016 he would stand with workers,” the AFL-CIO noted last fall. “He lied. The difference now is that he has a record he can’t hide from. And that record was catastrophic for workers. Former President Trump spent four years in office weakening unions and working people while pushing tax giveaways to the wealthiest among us. He stacked the courts with judges who want to roll back our rights on the job. He made us less safe at work. He gave big corporations free rein to lower wages and make it harder for workers to stand together in a union.”

Trump’s rhetoric doesn’t match reality.”

Said President Sean McGarvey in announcing the NABTU’s endorsement of President Joe Biden last month: “When Trump was elected, we took him at his word that he would have a worker-centered agenda and deliver on long-stalled issues such as infrastructure investment. Instead of delivering, he aligned himself with his billionaire buddies to enact tax cuts that raised costs for our members. Simply put, he failed to deliver. Given our experience and knowing his track record, the choice is clear.

“Joe Biden has proven to be the perfect leader at the perfect time for this country and the working men and women who have built it. NABTU is proud to endorse the clear and only choice for President of the United States, Joe Biden.

“In the coming months, we will continue to engage our membership and their families directly, member to member, door to door, and jobsite to jobsite, with an unprecedented field program in key battleground states, to tell them how important President Biden and his policies have been to them, their economic security, and their freedoms.

“We finally have a President who cares about results, not rhetoric; who cares about jobs, not jokes; who cares about hope, not headlines. We know Joe has our back, and we have his.  Now it’s time to get to work.”

Permit me to add a Presbyterian “Amen!”


Cross-posted from the KY AFL-CIO site.

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Berry Craig

Berry Craig is a professor emeritus of history at West KY Community College, and an author of seven books and co-author of two more. (Read the rest on the Contributors page.)

Arlington, KY



The Daily Wrap for Thursday, 5/23

The Daily Wrap for Thursday, 5/23

Still some wrap-up from Tuesday’s primary, including late calls of winners and possible recounts. Plus, some breaking news in the tweets below, and a cool story about a possible billboard (or billboards!) in west Kentucky.

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