Economic Justice

The UWUA is committed to working for economic and social justice by advocating for laws that support the fair distribution of wealth in America, including initiatives to strengthen labor unions and workplace rights. Workers deserve to have livable wages, better benefits, fairer trade policies and stronger protections of public services.

From the UWUA Constitution:

Equality & Corporate Accountability

The gains from economic growth are unequally distributed in the United States. During 2009–2012 —the first three years of recovery from the Great Recession—average household income in the U.S. grew by 6%. However, most of those gains went to the privileged few. 95% of income gains went to the top 1% of households. During this same period, the share of income growth for the bottom 90% of households was a negative 15.7%.

Society does not succeed without a large, prospering middle class. But today, the ability of free-market democracies to deliver widely shared increases in prosperity is in jeopardy.

In recent decades, income inequality has grown as corporate CEOs have taken a greater share of the economic pie, while wages have stagnated and unemployment remains high. In 2013, the CEOto- worker pay ratio was 331:1, and the CEO-to-minimum-wage-worker pay ratio was 774:1.

In recent decades, income inequality has grown as corporate CEOs have taken a greater share of the economic pie, while wages have stagnated and unemployment remains high.

Fair CEO-to-worker pay ratios mean that the contributions of all employees are important to running a successful company. Full disclosure of the ratio of CEO pay to median employee pay demonstrates to investors whether or not a company values its employees and allows investors to use the pay ratio to evaluate grossly inflated executive compensation proposals.

There is substantial evidence that the incentive structure for corporate decision makers is flawed. Long-term goals for investments have been undermined because management compensation is tied to short-term stock-market performance. There is no evidence that increases in executive compensation in recent decades have improved economic efficiency. Instead, excessive executive compensation has stolen the corporate income needed to compensate ordinary workers.

There is no evidence that increases in executive compensation in recent decades have improved economic efficiency. Instead, excessive executive compensation has stolen the corporate income needed to compensate ordinary workers.

Regressive payroll and excise taxes have grown as a share of federal tax revenue, while progressive income and estate taxes make up a smaller share. A decades-long accumulation of tax exemptions, deductions, and exclusions have helped reduce effective tax rates on high-income households and corporations. These provisions in the tax code shelter huge amounts of wealth from normal taxation.

The need for further reform of the nation’s financial system is critical in order to end the Wall Street abuses that helped cause the financial crisis, threaten another crisis, and continue to harm consumers.

The UWUA commends the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) for issuing a proposed rule requiring companies to disclose the ratio of total compensation between CEOs and the median pay of employees. We urge the SEC to adopt a final rule so companies are required to disclose the ratio between CEO and median employee pay so that investors can use this information.

As Federal agencies promulgate new regulations, the UWUA calls on them to protect public budgets from losses due to unforeseen economic downturns and to better supervise the hedge funds, private equity funds, and mutual funds in which our retirement savings are invested.

We must make sure that the wealthiest 1%, the large profitable corporations and the Wall Street financiers, all of whom benefited from misguided economic policies, pay a fair share of taxes. Tax laws should impose the same tax rate on investors’ income as on workers’ wages. Estate taxes should be raised so that, at a minimum, tax rates and exemptions are restored to the levels that existed before they were lowered by legislation signed by President George W. Bush.

We must make sure that the wealthiest 1%, the large profitable corporations and the Wall Street financiers, all of whom benefited from misguided economic policies, pay a fair share of taxes.

The UWUA is committed to shareholder voting reform of publicly held corporations. Shareholders should have the right to nominate candidates for corporate boards. Shareholders should have an annual advisory vote on executive compensation.

The UWUA will continue to advocate for laws supporting the fair distribution of wealth in America, including initiatives to strengthen labor unions and workplace rights. The UWUA will advocate for livable wages, better benefits, fairer trade policies and stronger protections of public services.

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