Unions Not Companies Deliver Real, Sustainable Financial Security
–FORBES – Nov 4, 2019 — Christian Weller
A lot of American working-class families struggle financially. A range of organizations thus encourage employers to help their employees gain more financial security. The goal is to provide families with some peace of mind, so that they become better at their jobs. Real employee financial security – higher wages, better benefits and more stable jobs – does not come from employers’ goodwill, but from workers negotiating for it, typically through a union.
Several organizations have conducted research on how and why employers should focus on employees’ financial security. For example, Gallup researchers argue that both employers and employees benefit when employers offer financial wellness initiatives. The Aspen Institute analyzed changing financial wellness programs and their popularity, concluding that they could help people achieve financial security if they became larger and more effective. Other research at the Aspen Institute show that income volatility is an important driver for financial insecurity now and in the future. And AARP supports more help from employers to their employees in saving for emergencies. Such emergencies can come from health care issues and responsibilities for caring for a child and an aging loved one. Employers who want to create more financial security for their employees could then provide employees with more help saving for emergencies, financial counseling but also more health insurance and paid family leave.
There are two related arguments in favor of greater employee financial security. More financially secure employees will have fewer worries on their mind, thus allowing them to focus more on their job. This shows up as greater productivity and less turnover, which bolsters businesses’ bottom line. And fewer financial worries get workers to focus on longer-term goals such as retirement savings. Workers supposedly become more appreciative of employers’ retirement benefits, which makes it more likely that they’ll stay, again reducing turnover and increasing productivity.
These are reasonable arguments. The data shows…..