Public Support for Union Organizing

It is important for elected officials and all members of our communities to show support for workers organizing and seeking to exercise their workplace rights.

The Problem

Unions and workers face an uphill battle when attempting to join or form a union.  Anti-union politicians and corporations have attempted to define this issue in a way that makes unions, not large corporations engaging in unfair workplace practices, the problem in the eyes of the public. Union density in Maine has declined dramatically in the past 40 years resulting in lower wages, fewer benefits for many workers, discrimination and abusive and dangerous work environments.

Why support it

1.The ability to organize is a right under the law held by most Maine workers 

2.Unions play a major role in raising the standard of living for workers at the bottom of the economic ladder, effectively moving large numbers of people, many of them among the working poor, immigrants and minorities, from the lower to the middle class.

3.Many workers face hardships in their workplace including low wages, lack of benefits, unsafe working environments, discrimination and lack of control over their work environment because they have been unable to join a Union.

4.Unions contribute to a more democratic society by serving as a check on corporate power and political control

Addressing Common Concerns

In 1969, nearly one in three American workers belonged to a Union, most families could survive on one income, and unemployment was at 3.4%.  Forty years later just 11.4% of workers, with only 7% of private sector workers, belonged to a Union, most families needed two incomes to get by, and unemployment exceeded 10%.

Increased Union membership in Maine would lead to a rise in wages, more people with health insurance and a more politically conscious citizenry.  A larger middle class with more purchasing power would create greater demand, leading to job creation while reducing costs to taxpayers by removing people from public benefits.  

Sources and Links to more information

Maine AFL-CIO website:

Maine State Employees Association website:

Maine Education Association website: