How Unions Help You and Your Family
Let’s begin by talking money. Here’s a solid fact that you may not be aware of: Union Members earn considerable more money that workers who don’t belong to unions – for doing the same kind of work.
The extra cash that comes with a Union negotiated contract is surely welcome to the average family that has difficulty enough trying to keep up with the grocery and utility bills, meeting mortgage payments on the house or the installments on a car or a major appliance and paying for the children’s education.
Much More Than A Bigger Paycheck
A Union provides a family with more than additional income. Union members enjoy longer paid vacations and more holidays, allowing them quality time to spend with their loved ones. They are covered by health and medical plans which protect them against huge hospital and doctor bills in case of serious illness.
Wages and Benefits Are Legally Protected
What is especially important about these valuable benefits is that they belong to each union member as a legal right that is spelled out in a written contract signed by both the Employer and the Union.
By contrast, the fewer benefits that a non-union worker receives from a company can be taken away from them at any time by the unilateral decision of management. And there is nothing thye can do about it except to quit and find another job where they might be subject to the same unfair treatment. It’s a fact of life that many workers learn the hard way: Without a Union you are powerless!
Unions Push TO Protect Your Safety On The Job
A major concern of the Unions is the protection of the health and safety of their members int eh workplace. In 1970, through their efforts, and over the opposition of employers, they pressured Congress to enact the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), and ever since, they’ve lobbied to make the nation’s worksites healthier and safer.
You are obviously better off when you have a Union to defend you against hazardous working conditions than if you have to depend on an employer whose prime concern is to keep labor operating costs to a minimum.
Safeguards Against Unfair, Abusive Treatment
A standard Union contract also contains provisions to protect employees against various types of unjustified behavior on the part of an employer. It provides for a grievance process that takes up any complaint they may have against management, whether it is a supervisor’s abusive language, unsafe working conditions, favoritism, racist and sexist discrimination, unwarranted disciplinary actions or firings.
The seniority clause of the contract cuts down on favoritism and reduces discrimination. Under a seniority system, the years you’ve toiled for the company have some value: All extra work is made available in seniority order to employees. Vacations and time-off adhere to seniority.
Some Basic Facts About How A Union Works
It’s sheer nonsense to say that a Union insists on telling an employer how to run their business. Of course Unions want employers to be competitive and profitable because that is to everyone’s advantage. But Unions do have a legitimate function: To represent workers on such vital issues as their wages, benefits and conditions of employment, and insuring that they have a safe and healthy workplace. Union officials don’t dictate, they negotiate. In a fundamentals sense, you and your co-workers are the Union.
Union Dues Are A Worker’s Best Investment
The money is used to cover the substantial expense of operating a headquarters, paying staff, conducting legislative and organizing activities and servicing the members. Your dues help build a stronger Union that can work more effectively in your behalf, especially at contract time. You’re accustomed to buying car insurance, fire insurance and health insurance. It’s an expense, buy well worth the protection and peace of mind it gives you. Your dues money is job insurance: You get a negotiated contract which makes it illegal for an employer to undercut your wages, benefits and working conditions.
Page Last Updated: Jan 23, 2012 (16:44:24)