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3 Reasons Even Right-Wing Republicans Should Like Unions

Photo courtesy of National Nurses United (NNU).

Want a reason to support unions? A union may help keep you alive.

Your chances of surviving a hospital stay after a myocardial infarction—also known as a heart attack—are higher if your nurses are in a union than if they’re not.

That’s the conclusion of a study by academics at the University of Massachusetts and the University of California. It’s also part of a much larger picture that the media ignore, that might give even right-wing Republicans a reason to support unions, and that makes the latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics evidence of a dwindling union presence bad news for all of us.

1. A majority of the people who belong to unions hold professional or technical jobs, and their union membership protects the people they serve. Registered nurses are only one group that has organized unions. Others include—but are not limited to—professors, scientists, judges, professional athletes, teachers, engineers, scientists, screenwriters, newscasters, broadcast technicians, stagehands, actors, musicians and recording artists. As of 2010, a majority—more than 54%—of the people in unions were in professional or technical fields.

2. Professional and technical people consistently rank an ability to do their jobs right as a top workplace priority, and unions ensure that they can. Professional and technical people invest their energy, time and money to develop their expertise and skills. They bring to their work their personal ethics, their professional standards and, often, professional codes and licenses. Decades of attitudinal research show that professionals consistently choose an ability to do their work right as a top priority that often ranks above pay and benefits.

This is an excerpt from 3 Reasons Even Right-Wing Republicans Should Like Unions from AlterNet by David Cohen, executive director of the AFL-CIO Department for Professional Employees. Read the rest on AlterNet

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