Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh welcomes you to the Worker Organizing Resource and Knowledge Center – the federal government's first online resource center with information about labor unions and their importance to workers and communities. Consistently, research shows that workers want unions. In fact, a huge gap exists between the percentage of workers who want a union and those who currently have one. Today, many workers – particularly young workers – know little about their labor rights and don't know how to organize. In response, to meet popular demand, we created the WORK Center to provide information about unions, organizing and collective bargaining, all of which are important tools for workers that help support the Department of Labor's mission to protect workers. 

Worker and public support for unions is higher now than it's been in decades, especially among young workers. Recent research suggests 52 percent of workers want a union but that just 12 percent of workers are currently represented by one. Among Black and Hispanic workers, women workers, and young workers, interest in union representation is particularly high.

More non-union workers want unions

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The union representation gap is a racial and gender equity issue. Research shows that women workers and workers of color, as well as young workers, have even higher levels of support for having a union on the job.

Union representation gap is a racial and gender equity issue

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Workers want a collective voice on their compensation, benefits, training opportunities and other issues.

FIGURE 6 - The Voice Gap: The Percentage of Workers with Less Involvement than They Want on Workplace Issues

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While more than half of non-union workers say they want a union, only about ten percent of these workers say they know how to form one.

Workers want unions—but many, and especially younger workers, do not know how to form them

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Unions help the Department of Labor fulfill its mission to protect the health, safety, wages and retirement security of working Americans. Workers represented by unions feel safer voicing concerns about workplace safety and health, wage theft and other violations of worker protections. Unions help enforce workers' legal rights. Supporting workers as they try try to form unions helps the department's ability to carry out its mission.

Any links to non-federal websites on this page provide additional information that is consistent with the intended purpose of this federal site, but linking to such sites does not constitute an endorsement by the U.S. Department of Labor of the information or organization providing such information. For more information, please visit https://www.dol.gov/general/disclaim.