Unions Ensure Workers Have a Voice on the Job

Legislative Advocacy
Throughout our history, the labor movement has won advances that have transformed the lives of working people in America, from enacting overtime and wage laws to ending child labor to passing Social Security.

Training and Apprenticeships
Training programs and apprenticeships are at the heart of unions’ efforts to ensure that working men and women have a voice in our country's ever-changing economy. Every year, the labor movement trains more than 450,000 workers. Through union apprenticeship programs, individuals gain life-changing skills to do high-quality work and get solid, middle-class jobs—often in new industries with cutting-edge green technology.

Expanding and strengthening union membership is the lifeblood of the labor movement, making possible everything else we do. The more workers who join unions and become actively involved, the more power we have to build a brighter future for working families.

Labor In the Community
Union members give back wholeheartedly to the communities where we live and work. It’s the union way. Rhode Island union members are loyal and enthusiastic supporters of charities that cure the sick, feed the hungry, provide heat to the cold, house the homeless, assist veterans, help those with mental and physical disabilities, and make a better future for our kids.

Unions are about a simple proposition: By joining together, working women and men gain strength in numbers so they can have a voice at work about what they care about.


 They negotiate a contract with their employer for things like a fair and safe workplace, better wages, a secure retirement and family-friendly policies such as paid sick leave and scheduling hours. They have a voice in how their jobs get done, creating a more stable, productive workforce that provides better services and products. Always adapting to the challenges of our nation’s evolving workforce, unions are meeting the needs of workers in today’s flexible and nontraditional work environments. Because no matter what type of job workers are in, by building power in unions, they can speak out for fairness for all working people in their communities and create better standards and a strong middle class across the country.

What Unions Do

Rhode Island AFL-CIO

194 Smith Street

Providence, RI 02908


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