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Benefits of becoming a Union Member
Updated On: Feb 59, 2018

"THE UNION REPRESENTS ITS MEMBERS":  Have you ever had a disagreement with your employer? Most workers have at one time or another. When that happens, it is you against your employer, one on one. Guess who is going to win that argument! Your Boss! As a "Union member", you have representation and protection. First, you are working under a collective bargaining agreement, which is negotiated with the employers. This agreement sets down terms and conditions of employment that are agreed to by the Union and the employers. That eliminates many problems, which could arise between worker and employer. Secondly, you have representation in the form of a Business Manager or Agent. They are the representatives of the Union who intervene on your behalf when issues come up between worker and employer.

WAGES: Do you feel that you are being paid a "fair" wage for what you do and the amount of experience you have? Most non-Union workers are not! The collective bargaining agreement sets fair wages for difference classifications of workers, based on their experience. Not only are the wages fair, but also you will know in advance when you will be getting a raise and how much it will be. Wages are negotiated in the collective bargaining agreement.

BENEFITS: Do you have adequate benefits where you are now working? The Union offers its members excellent benefits. You will have quality health care for yourself and your family, even after you retire. You will also have an adequate pension plan, supplemented by an Individual Retirement Plan which will provide you with enough money to retire and maintain your lifestyle.  

WORKING CONDITIONS:  Are the conditions you work under safe? Do you put yourself at risk trying to make money for your employer? You don't have to! The collective bargaining agreement sets down rules and responsibilities for both workers and employers regarding safety and dangerous working conditions. Safety is a major concern for everyone involved.

Organize Your Workplace:  As a worker, you have a right under federal law to form a union, select representatives of your choice and bargain collectively with your employer. This helps balance the power that an employer has over his individual employees. Belonging to a union gives you rights under law that you do not have as an individual. Once you have formed a union, your employer must bargain with you over your wages, hours and working conditions. 

What Steps Do Employers Take to Prevent Unions?                                                                                       Some employers would rather not have to deal with a strong union when they can deal with a weak employee. To maintain control, the employer may hold captive audience meetings, threaten to close or move the workplace if workers vote to unionize, hire professional union busters to coordinate anti-union campaigns or even fire workers for engaging in union activity. Of course, there are certain actions employers can not take:

Here are 35 actions your employer can not take:

1. Attend any union meeting, park across the street from the hall or engage in any undercover activity which would indicate that the employees are being kept under surveillance to determine who is and who is not participating in the union program.

2. Tell employees that the company will fire or punish them if they engage in union activity.

3. Lay off, discharge, discipline any employee for union activity.

4. Grant employees wage increases, special concessions or benefits in order to keep the union out.

5. Bar employee-union representatives from soliciting employees' memberships on or off the company property during non-waking hours.

6. Ask employees about union matters, meetings, etc. (Some employees may, of their own accord, walk up and tell of such matters. It is not an unfair labor practice to listen, but to ask questions to obtain additional information is illegal).

7. Ask employees what they think about the union or a union representative once the employee refuses to discuss it.

8. Ask employees how they intend to vote.

9. Threaten employees with reprisal for participating in union activities. For example, threaten to move the plant or close the business, curtail operations or reduce employees' benefits.

10. Promise benefits to employees if they reject the union.

11. Give financial support or other assistance to a union.

12. Announce that the company will not deal with the union.

13. Threaten to close, in fact close, or move plant in order to avoid dealing with a union.

14. Ask employees whether or not they belong to a union, or have signed up for union representation.

15. Ask an employee, during the hiring interview, about his affiliation with a labor organization or how he feels about unions.

16. Make anti-union statements or act in a way that might show preference for a non-union man.

17. Make distinctions between union and non-union employees when signing overtime work or desirable work.

18. Purposely team up non-union men and keep them apart from those supporting the union.

19. Transfer workers on the basis of union affiliations or activities.

20. Choose employees to be laid off in order to weaken the union's strength or discourage membership in the union.

21. Discriminate against union people when disciplining employees.

22. By nature of work assignments, create conditions intended to get rid of an employee because of his union activity.

23. Fail to grant a scheduled benefit or wage increase because of union activity.

24. Deviate from company policy for the purpose of getting rid of a union supporter.

25. Take action that adversely affects an employee's job or pay rate because of union activity.

26. Threaten workers or coerce them in an attempt to influence their vote.

27. Threaten a union member through a third party.

28. Promise employees a reward or future benefit if they decide "no union".

29. Tell employees overtime work (and premium pay) will be discontinued if the plant is unionized.

30. Say unionization will force the company to lay off employees.

31. Say unionization will do away with vacations or other benefits and privileges presently in effect.

32. Promise employees promotions, raises or other benefits if they get out of the union or refrain from joining the union.

33. Start a petition or circular against the union or encourage or take part in its circulation if started by employees.

34. Urge employees to try to induce others to oppose the union or keep out of it.

35. Visit the homes of employees to urge them to reject the union.

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