The number of articles we read on this matter is staggering. •   Being labelled an "activist" can hinder your career. For example, membership in the Teamsters Local 853 costs between $17 and $85 per month as of 2015. But not all such groups are necessarily hostile to new people. Union rules typically guarantee job security based on seniority, so a productive newer worker can be laid off while a less-productive worker with seniority stays. To be sure, a small union local can't change the world -- so get over it. When unions demand higher wages, employers with limited funds may have to cut staff to pay higher wages. If there’s a union at work, you can ask the trade union representative (‘rep’) about joining. So why do new activists fade away? Although many union politicos are exemplary in their respect for fair play, I can confirm that negative campaigns and vicious tactical maneuvers are just as common in unions as they are in the larger political sphere. If your state doesn't have right-to-work laws, you can be required to pay a portion of the union dues even if you don't join the union, according to legal website NOLO. Thanks to labor unions, wages have improved, the workweek is shorter and the workplace is safer. The financial costs of union membership include dues and, in many cases, fees for joining. In short, yes. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2014 median weekly pay for full-time workers belonging to a union was $970, compared to $763 for their nonunion counterparts. December 22, 2020 Early coronavirus vaccine recipient feels optimistic about what lies ahead. Join Unite and enjoy a whole range of benefits such as financial advice, funeral care and monetary rewards. They believe the union will not or cannot represent their beliefs or interests. National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, Inc.: What If I Want to Work During a Strike? Unfair dismissal; If you have a concern about your employment agency, you can contact the Labour Relations Agency for advice in making a complaint. As a union activist, could you be the target of internal political attacks? •   To influence decisions, you need to be with the "in crowd." Union members are likely to have a more secure job with better maternity, paternity, sickness and pension benefits. Let's take a look: Is union work time-consuming? So despite the barriers, there really is every reason to get involved in your union -- and you should. That’s $9,600 more a year. In healthy unions, leaders encourage new members to get involved, embrace open debate and new ideas, and are not obsessed with protecting their positions. And for graduate students in the US, student unions have a completely different meaning—they’re labor unions advocating for fair and equal pay and benefits for graduate student instructors. For example, supervisors may treat unionized workers more as underlings and less as partners, and workers may feel that their employers trust them less. Some unions are worse than others, and it all depends on the personalities involved. Myo Thant, a front-line worker in Seattle and a member of Council 28, is one of the first AFSCME members to receive the coronavirus vaccine. In my workplace, I am aware of some in management who negatively target shop stewards, but that seems to be the exception. Member Benefits. Further to the provision of the Personal Information Protection Act, personal information is kept confidential by TheTyee.ca and will not be sold, traded, released, shared or distributed to any other individuals, organizations or agencies without prior consent or notification. You'll also lose autonomy by joining, and you may suffer additional disadvantages. Although managers may not be prohibited from joining trade unions, there are some preventative measures an employer can take to protect its rights should a … This is where the importance … The chapter also charges an initiation fee ranging from $75 to $600, depending … For instance you worked at a company with a boss who gives you a wage that is lower than the expected minimum wage, a union leader thus forms a union of people within the company who share the same sentiments and then at the same time, acts as the voice who delivers the complaint to the big boss. Do you need to be in the "in crowd?" Why Employee Union is Necessary – Why Employee Join Union There are a number of reasons that can make an employee to join a union & these reasons change with the passage of time. That will take cooperation from other public sector unions, which haven't come around to our way of thinking. It can be, and this is probably the biggest reason union members fail to remain engaged. If there is a deal, they say, that they might support. If we agree to keep a lot of the EU rulebook and join a so-called "customs union" with the EU, they will back the prime minister in the Commons. TOP FIVE REASONS WHY PEOPLE JOIN A UNION. It’s illegal for an employer to disadvantage you because you are a union member. Join a strong union and make your voice heard. First, of course, union members tend to enjoy higher wages and better benefits than the unorganized. The first step to joining a union is to locate your individual union and contact it for union facts and guidance on organizing; Get in touch with a union organizer. Although union members typically enjoy higher wages, membership in a union has both monetary and nonmonetary costs. We saw it as incompatible with our role as teachers to benefit from the sale of armaments. That’s why, if you intend to be a blue-collar worker rather than a white-collar careerist, it’s a smart move to consider becoming a union member. In fact, some of the skills you gain through union involvement may be transferable to the workplace, and smart managers understand this. •   Unions are ineffective and impossible to change. By taking the time to understand why employees join unions, anti-union employers can work toward creating work environments that eliminate the need for unionization. On average, union members get higher pay than non-members. All information submitted to The Tyee is only available to employees or sub-contractors who are bound by agreement with The Tyee to keep the information private. If you have concerns related to your privacy please contact us at info@thetyee.ca. However, employers sometimes complain that unions are harmful to business and to the economy. Greater Bargaining Power. Closed shops, where workers must join a union before being hired, are no longer legal, states the U.S. Small Business Administration. Thanks for a big year. Trade unions use their collective muscle to bargain for better salaries, pensions, holidays, health insurance, sick pay, overtime and more. When on strike, a union rolls out its command structures, and all hands must be on deck, so to speak. Each person's decision about this should be based on their unique circumstances. But, and that’s a huge but, it’s not always that black and white. And this point was made without even a hint of irony. National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, Inc.: Right to Work States, National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, Inc.: Right to Work Frequently Asked Questions, National Labor Relations Board: 1947 Taft-Harley Substantive Provisions. Here are five common objections I've heard union members raise when explaining why they don't stay involved: •   Union involvement is time-consuming. For example, membership in the Teamsters Local 853 costs between $17 and $85 per month as of 2015. This is because workers join together to negotiate pay and conditions rather than leaving them up to managers. More than 84 percent of union workers have jobs that provide health insurance benefits, but only 64 percent of nonunion workers do. They are also likely to get better sickness and pension benefits, more paid holiday and more control over things like shifts and working hours. Membership types. But, more than students, it is those young people that are currently in full or part-time employment that are the most vulnerable to exploitation under the current government without the help of trade unions. They can also discuss their problem with’ the trade union leaders. Why unionize?While workers in Ontario have minimum rights under the Employment Standards Act (ESA), a union collective agreement builds on those rights, adds additional rights and, just as important, gives you a means to enforce them. The individual employee possesses very little bargaining power as compared to that of his employer. In the UK, students can join the National Union of Students, or NUS, which works to represent student issues at a national level. Find a union to join. Ten good reasons to join Unite. Not all adjuncts are the same. Needless to say, the motion was defeated, and one of the main arguments put forward was that because unions are secretive and should remain so, we should respect government secrecy! Which is a pretty good record, if you think about it. But other unions -- perhaps most unions -- are cliquey and factional. As a result, unionized workers often experience a less cooperative environment with employers than nonunion workers, reports the Bankrate.com article. 1. If he is not satisfied with the wage and other conditions of employment, he can leave the job. Here are seven practical reasons why. So yes, standing up in your union could make you a target -- but not necessarily. Patrick Parkes blogs at politicalsensei.wordpress.com. Perhaps that's true on some level. Possibilities: 1. But they won't go away if we don't get involved. Nonetheless, you must pay to belong to a union. 5 reasons why you should join a trade union: Trade unions give power to working people by enabling employees to speak with one voice to their employer. In states without right-to-work laws, however, unions can require employees to join within a specified time after being hired. That's because unions have smaller overall populations, and are therefore easier to be influenced by a small group of activists. At the apex of my union involvement (as table officer for a BC Teachers' Federation local, and editor of a professional journal) I attended plenty of late-night meetings, and often worked on weekends and holidays. In any event, yes, there can be "in-groups" in unions, and most unions seem to have them. The wages and benefits for my position are determined by the market, not by collective action. By this I mean that many unions are deeply resistant to change, and in some cases even reactionary. As an example, I once brought forward a motion for our local to make a public statement in support of WikiLeaks. Tyee Poll: Will You Get Immunized Once the COVID-19 Vaccine Is Made Available to You? Find his previous Tyee articles here. The answer depends on the health of one's union. The only reason I'm in a union position is because of politics that had nothing to do with sense. Union members also … There are still eligibility … Some unions may have restrictions on who can join. If you belong to a union, you lose the ability to negotiate pay or benefits for yourself. To be sure, workload, in-group/out-group dynamics, political retribution, and conservatism are serious barriers to involvement. That can mean lots of different things, but nowhere is it more evident than when an employer takes inconsistent disciplinary action. But after years of campaigning (yes, it did take years -- I estimate five years of the most organized phase of our campaign) and fine-tuning our strategy, we succeeded in changing the culture, to such an extent that "ethical investing" is now viewed as common sense among BCTF activists. Just as we advocate for improvements to be made by our national and provincial governments, we should advocate for improvements to be made within our labour unions -- especially so that they can have a more effective, positive role in those larger political structures. Safety. Barring catastrophic … Following from this last point, I will admit that during my years as a union activist I often thought I was wasting my time: that as an "agent of change," I might have done better to join the Republican Tea Party to convert them to the ideology of Karl Marx. 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