In today's world, more than ever, workers need to join
together. Instead of one lonely person asking for his share of the
pie, by joining with others, employees can bargain from a greater position of
strength and demand fairer wages, better health benefits, and a retirement
plan for the future. In fact, according to the Department of Labor, union
workers make up to 59% more than non-union workers in the same occupations! [
Why? Because a union creates a
more level playing field between employer and employee.
Union representation means that you gain rights.
Legal rights that you don't have without a union contract.
the employment at will doctrine,
the cornerstone of American employment law, in general terms, unless you
belong to a protected group, your employer has the
right to discipline or terminate, with impunity, you for any reason -- even a
bad one -- or for no reason at all. That's why it is
sometimes called the fire at will doctrine.
However, with a collective bargaining
agreement, you have rights. Management must have just
cause for any disciplinary action taken against a union employee.
You bargain over wages, health benefits, working conditions and a retirement
plan for your future. But, you bargain collectively with the strength
that comes from a collective voice.
What the AFL-CIO says.
THE LAW says that YOU have the RIGHT
to organize into a union of your own choice. It gives YOU the
right to vote for union representation in a secret,
Under the National
Labor Relations Act (NLRA) you have the legal right to form a
union in your workplace. The NLRA says:
7: "Employees shall have the right to self-organization,
to form, join, or assist labor organizations, to bargain
collectively through representatives of their own choosing, and to
engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective
8(a): "It shall be an unfair labor practice for an
employer .... to interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees in
the exercise of the rights guaranteed in section 7 of this
ITS ALWAYS wise to take full advantage of YOUR LEGAL
WITH A UNION, the employer must bargain and pay the
WITH A UNION, your rights on the job are spelled
out and must be respected.
WITH A UNION, you can stop abuses on the job. The
union can prevent unjust and unfair treatment by giving you representation on
the job and the right to file grievances if you are treated unfairly.
WITH A UNION, you can negotiate for better holiday
pay, vacations, health and welfare benefits, and job conditions.
WITH A UNION, you have greater security on your
job. Company management cannot fire you without good reason and they must
respect your length of service if there are layoffs.
Who Runs the Union?
your own local union officers.
You run your
own local union affairs.
your own negotiating committee.
You make the
decisions on your own union contract.
your own shop stewards.
important policies and actions of your own union by majority vote.
your international union officers.
your own delegates to the international conventions.
You -- the
membership -- are the final voice of authority and decision in your Union.
A union is an organization of
workers joined together for a common purpose, for mutual aid and protection,
to engage in concerted activity and collective bargaining, to elevate their
conditions of life and labor; an organization by which ordinary people do