More than Half of the U.S.’s Best Manufacturers are Union

Workers at more than 30 of the “50 Best U.S. Manufacturers” belong to unions. Industry Week puts out an annual list of the 50 Best U.S. Manufacturers based on financial measurements like revenue growth, profit margin and other financial metrics that Wall Street investors use to rate a company.

Using back of the napkin numbers, the overall unionization rate in manufacturing is just under 10%–9.6% in 2017. So, all things being equal, only 5 of the companies on the top 50 list should be unionized.

In fact, more than 60 percent of the list has workers with union cards in their pockets. Why? Because there are many things that make a company successful. It makes sense that making employees partners in running the business would contribute to the success of a company.

The fact that workers have organized unions and bargained contracts at more than one-half of the list shows that when workers have dignity, respect and a voice on the factory floor—the company delivers for its shareholders, workers and community. A union contract gives workers a say in improving quality, efficiency and making work better on the assembly line.

The union companies on the list include:

  • Lear, where UAW members make seats for your car, CUV, SUV or pickup truck
  • Sanderson Farms, where UFCW members prepare chickens for our dinner tables
  • Huntington Ingalls, where IBEW and USW workers (among others) build ships for the U.S. Navy
  • Herman Miller, where IUE-CWA members build furniture