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Unions’ Tool: CNN misleads readers on unionization and wage rates

CNN Article

Unionization does not automatically lead to better wages. However, you wouldn’t know that if you’re a reader of CNN’s website.

CNN, the network that Ted Turner started, appears to have taken up the labor movement’s quasi-political campaign to make raising wages primary campaign issue in 2016.

On Tuesday, CNN posted an article entitled Want a Raise? Join A Union.

In the first half of the article, along with the title of the post, the writer uses Bureau of Labor Statistics data to misleadingly infer that by merely joining a union, individuals should expect more in wages.

It is not until the second half of the article, however, that the realities of today’s unions and their power to negotiate higher wages becomes more apparent:

Being a union member, however, doesn’t mean your pay will increase at a faster rate. The wages of both groups have increased only 2.1% since 2000.

Also, bowing to corporate pressure, some unions are now negotiating tiered wage scales so that new employees are paid less than their experienced brethren.

It’s hard for unions to escape the wage squeeze that many American workers are facing. They must still contend with the same issues, including global competition and automation. [Emphasis added.]

Through the title and the opening paragraphs of the article, the CNN writer leads readers to believe that unionization automatically equates to higher wages, even when that is not the case.

It is not until later in the article the writer reveals that workers are experiencing the same wages increases (and wage pressures), regardless of whether or not they are unionized.

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