During a pandemic, unions offer workers some protection, research shows
Belonging to a union is not a panacea for all that plagues workers during a pandemic, as many hospital and other workers short on protective gear can attest. Still, being covered by a collective bargaining does increase the chances of having medical coverage and paid sick time — benefits that are particularly important during a public health crisis — a new study finds. Nearly all, or 94%, of workers covered by a union contract have access to employee-sponsored health benefits, compared to 68% of nonunion workers, according to recent research published by the Economic Policy Institute. Nine of 10 union workers are able to take paid time off when sick, compared to 73% of nonunion workers, the left-leaning think tank found.