Modern Union FAQs

See how building and construction labor unions continue to uplift workers and communities.


Why do we still need labor unions?

As America was growing in the early 1800s, the drive for bigger, better business often came at the expense of worker safety and security. Unions were instrumental in securing better working conditions and wages during the industrial era, and they’re a big reason why we have conventions like minimum wage, weekends, the eight-hour workday, Social Security, worker’s compensation insurance, the Family Medical Leave Act and more. But that doesn’t mean that our unions’ work is done.

Because they represent the rights and interests of workers, unions still play a key economic and political role today. Unions protect against abuses in the workplace, train a highly skilled workforce, prevent wage theft and advocate for local workers.

While some employers are working to rid themselves of responsibility for providing health insurance, pensions and job safety measures, unions are working toward fair compensation for the workers who depend on these benefits.

Unions play a big role in Minnesota, where the construction, mining, and milling industries have a storied history.

Learn more about how unions play a role in the lives of Minnesotans with these related stories: