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The AFL-CIO’s Center for Strategic Research has released a study showing working people are achieving significant victories through the most expansive period of collective bargaining in modern labor history.

Presented during Labor Day week, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said the report “provides clear evidence that joining a union and bargaining with your employer is the most effective way to give workers the power to raise their own wages. When working people speak with one voice, our economy is stronger and all workers do better.”

The research shows that those who bargained for new contracts during the first half of 2015 saw their wages increase by an average of 4.3 percent – which amounted to an increase of more $1,100 annually for the average U.S. wage earner. This was up from 2.9 percent for the same six months in 2014. An estimated 5 million American workers will be engaged in bargaining for new contracts at some point this year. Among MTD affiliated unions currently involved in collective bargaining talks are CWA and IBEW with Verizon, Bakery Workers with Ingredion and Steel Workers with ArcelorMittal.