Thanks to the massive corporate-and-Republican war on unions, the portion of women belonging to unions has fallen from 18 percent in 1983 to 11.8 percent in 2012. That's very bad news for women, considering the advantages they get from union membership. Take wages:
According to the Center for Economic and Policy Research's issue brief on women and unions, women who are in unions earn an average of 12.9 percent more than similar women who are not in unions. Being a union member provides a wage boost equivalent to a year of college. When it comes to having employer-provided health insurance, being a union member provides women even more of a boost than having a four-year college degree:
And retirement plans have the largest union advantage of all, with union membership raising a woman's chances of having an employer-provided retirement plan more than a college degree.
Why the advantage? Because the vast majority of corporate bosses are not going to give workers things like decent wages and benefits if workers don't have the strength in numbers to make it happen.