History and Trends: A History of Latino Union Participation

My father was a union member for most his career in the steel industry. He literally helped form many of the huge steel frames that created the L.A. freeway system. A couple members of my family are union professionals so this article by Latino Decisions resonates with me personally. It’s a great write up on Latinos and labor union participation over the last few decades. Latinos, who are disproportionately represented in low wage jobs, have much to lose in the on-going union busting battles occurring across the United States, including in my new backyard of Wisconsin. The issue has far reaching implications for the Latino workforce:

Multi-generation Latinos have a lot at stake in the current battle to curtail the power of public sector unions. Latinos disproportionately represent low-wage jobs and have relied heavily on the efforts of unions to negotiate fair wages and benefits. If the power of unions is severely curtailed, many Latinos may be left without this protection. This vulnerability for Latinos is confounded by the fact that they are one of the least likely groups to obtain a higher education (U.S. Dept. of Education 2010). Unions play an even greater role in diminishing wage inequalities for workers without college degrees (Agbede 2011).