For many years, labor unions paved the road to middle-class living for many American families, and a new survey finds that minorities still hold in high esteem the institutions that helped to raise minimum wage and obtain overtime pay for blue-collar workers.
Apollo Group/National Journal Next America polling shows that 73 percent of African-Americans regard unions either "very favorably" or "mostly favorably," followed by 54 percent of Latinos and 47 percent of whites.
The findings underscore the role that labor unions play in the lives of blacks and Latinos workers, and how many people have historically looked to unions to help with pay increases. Nationally, compared with whites on similar jobs, Latinos and blacks earn an estimated 74 cents and 66 cents to the dollar, respectively.
Black workers are most likely to be unionized, federal figures show.
In comparison, here is the ratio, by race and ethnicity, of the U.S. workforce, plus the percentage who are in unions, based on 2011 figures:
- Blacks: 9.4 percent and 13.5 percent.
- Whites: 71.7 percent and 11.6 percent.
- Asians: 4.2 percent and 10.1 percent.
- Hispanics: 12.8 percent and 9.7 percent.