Union vs. Nonunion Pay

Pay for union workers in West Virginia is 11.1 percent higher, on average, than for nonunion workers.

That's the finding of a joint study released Thursday by the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C., and the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy in Charleston.

The study is called "The Union Advantage for Low-Wage Workers." It found that union membership made an even bigger difference for low-wage workers, giving them an estimated 15.8 percent more than their nonunion counterparts.

Unionized workers also are more likely to receive paid leave, health insurance or an employer-provided pension plan.

Ted Boettner is director of the West Virginia agency. He says unions can help shrink the state's growing income inequality.

The study found that 15.4 percent of West Virginia workers are either members of a union or covered by a union contract at their workplace.

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