December 22, 2020 Early coronavirus vaccine recipient feels optimistic about what lies ahead. In the labour movement, employer attacks, the end of contract terms, and strikes are what we call "capacity building" events. If you give your employees the same benefits and advantages as unions, your workers won't have to pay dues to a union and your workplace can remain union-free. In many cases union volunteers are respected by management, and I see no systemic evidence that union involvement hinders one's chances for advancement. First, of course, union members tend to enjoy higher wages and better benefits than the unorganized. 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. So yes, standing up in your union could make you a target -- but not necessarily. As a result, unionized workers often experience a less cooperative environment with employers than nonunion workers, reports the Bankrate.com article. Find a union to join. 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. The financial costs of union membership include dues and, in many cases, fees for joining. That will take cooperation from other public sector unions, which haven't come around to our way of thinking. Many hands make light work, and when we invite rational actors to our union table, they can help change the culture. 1. 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. Some unions are worse than others, and it all depends on the personalities involved. But not all such groups are necessarily hostile to new people. This portion, the agency fee, pays for services such as negotiating contracts. The financial costs of union membership include dues and, in many cases, fees for joining. Strikes build awareness of both the issues and the union, and members start getting more deeply involved -- many for the first time. National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, Inc.: What If I Want to Work During a Strike? Collective action cannot help me in any way. The chapter also charges an initiation fee ranging from $75 to $600, depending on your wage level. For example, membership in the Teamsters Local 853 costs between $17 and $85 per month as of 2015. But one can always ration one's involvement by not getting involved in too many things at once, and many activists have managed to balance their lives this way. So why not reconsider an idea that probably made an awful lot of sense to your grandparents but has taken a bit of a battering in recent decades: joining a union. These reasons may take the form of a need for a social outlet, Peer pressure, forced unionization, dissatisfaction with the management, opportunity for leadership etc. 3. But, and that’s a huge but, it’s not always that black and white. Sadly, where unions should be providing a good example and an antidote to the irrationality and arbitrary power we find in the larger political system, sometimes they are merely a microcosm of that system. For example, membership in the Teamsters Local 853 costs between $17 and $85 per month as of 2015. They can also discuss their problem with’ the trade union leaders. 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. Considering the four factors mentioned above that need to be considered when managers join a union, it is clear that there might be a conflict of interest when a manager joins a trade union, and even more so when the manager becomes a shop steward. When unions demand higher wages, employers with limited funds may have to cut staff to pay higher wages. Collective representation is a tricky thing—people who agree about wages and benefits may disagree about politics or other things that are more important to them than wages and benefits. As an example, my union local has what you might call an old guard, focused largely on the past, and a new guard who formed because they got tired of new ideas being blocked. By this I mean that many unions are deeply resistant to change, and in some cases even reactionary. When on strike, a union rolls out its command structures, and all hands must be on deck, so to speak. Stability. It’s illegal for an employer to disadvantage you because you are a union member. Trade unions use their collective muscle to bargain for better salaries, pensions, holidays, health insurance, sick pay, overtime and more. In short, yes. In my workplace, I am aware of some in management who negatively target shop stewards, but that seems to be the exception. Monthly dues for the chapter generally are equivalent to your pay for two-and-one-half hours of work. Will being a union activist hinder your career? If you think your employer has dismissed you or made you redundant for a reason connected to your trade union membership or your decision not to join a trade union, you may be entitled to make a complaint of unfair dismissal to an industrial tribunal. That's bad for you if you're new to the business. Patrick Parkes blogs at politicalsensei.wordpress.com. People who are unionized enjoy greater job satisfaction because unions allow employees to negotiate the rules and policies of the workplace with the employer. Pensions, medical insurance, paid vacation, holidays, personal holidays, sick pay, overtime premiums, shift differential, etc, are generally not only better in a union shop, many of these goodies don’t even exist without a union contract. 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. That can mean lots of different things, but nowhere is it more evident than when an employer takes inconsistent disciplinary action. Why Join. On the other hand, those who are members of a union feel that they gain respect in the eyes of their fellow workers. 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. Which is a pretty good record, if you think about it. Here are five common objections I’ve heard union members raise when explaining why they don’t stay involved: • Union involvement is time-consuming. The only reason I'm in a union position is because of politics that had nothing to do with sense. In healthy unions, leaders encourage new members to get involved, embrace open debate and new ideas, and are not obsessed with protecting their positions. Yes, but would like to learn more about the vaccine(s) first. Perhaps that's true on some level. In fact, you can be subject to a fine or other union discipline if you choose to work. If you have concerns related to your privacy please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. They believe the union will not or cannot represent their beliefs or interests. Each person's decision about this should be based on their unique circumstances. A union means an end to … To be sure, a small union local can't change the world -- so get over it. Here are seven practical reasons why. That’s $9,600 more a year. As a result, trade unions help working people to win a better deal at work. But we can make incremental improvements, if not to the outside world, then certainly to the internal structures of our unions. So despite the barriers, there really is every reason to get involved in your union -- and you should. Given those realities, adjuncts have to decide the question of whether to join a union on an individual -- case by case, institution by institution -- basis. On average, union members get higher pay than non-members. However, when the strike (or other critical event) is over, newly engaged members often drift away, and the union moves back to its steady state of die-hards-only. How to Join A Union & Why Join - Member Services. E-mail addresses are only used for the purposes of Tyee-related correspondence or comment moderation. Unless you're required to join, you gain little advantage by doing so. 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. 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. Ten good reasons to join Unite. The chapter also charges an initiation fee ranging from $75 to $600, depending … Union rules sometimes pit workers against each other, according to Fox News. Why Do Workers Join Trade Unions? If there’s a union at work, you can ask the trade union representative (‘rep’) about joining. 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. Member Benefits. … Not all adjuncts are the same. Thanks to labor unions, wages have improved, the workweek is shorter and the workplace is safer. It can be, and this is probably the biggest reason union members fail to remain engaged. 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. 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. In 2015, for example, union members earned about $200 a week more than those who don’t belong to a union, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As an example, I once brought forward a motion for our local to make a public statement in support of WikiLeaks. Join a strong union and make your voice heard. The wages and benefits for my position are determined by the market, not by collective action. 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. Let's take a look: Is union work time-consuming? If you were eligible to join a credit union based on your job, for example, you can keep your membership even if you leave that job. Union members also … If you are not, here is an example of how a union works. 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. If for some reason you can't join a union but want to support your fellow working Americans and fight for good jobs and a just economy, learn how to join Working America. Why would someone not join a union? Whether you have $5 or $50,000 in your account, you have the same say as any other member in determining the direction of your credit union. As a union member, you're not free to decide for yourself whether or not you want to strike. • Political work can make one a target of personal attacks. Possibilities: 1. Find his previous Tyee articles here. Now at first glance, this seems like the most viable option for any actor with experience and credits. Here are 9 reasons why everyone needs to join a union NOW: Union members earn more than non-union members Union members have consistently earned more than non-union members. Greater Bargaining Power. 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. We saw it as incompatible with our role as teachers to benefit from the sale of armaments. 1. Tyee Poll: Will You Get Immunized Once the COVID-19 Vaccine Is Made Available to You? Thanks for a big year. 6. You have a legal right to join a union. Barring catastrophic … But other unions -- perhaps most unions -- are cliquey and factional. This is called a union shop. From salary and benefits to protection against bad bosses, there are numerous ways organizing a union can make life better for you and your co-workers. One of the most important decisions you will ever make as an actor is whether or not to join the SAG-AFTRA Union. Credit unions are for everyone – most people do not realize that they qualify for membership. Union members are likely to have a more secure job with better maternity, paternity, sickness and pension benefits. So why do new activists fade away? Monthly dues for the chapter generally are equivalent to your pay for two-and-one-half hours of work. Safety. As a union activist, could you be the target of internal political attacks? To borrow the slogan of talk show host Thom Hartmann: "Tag, you're it.". In fact, some of the skills you gain through union involvement may be transferable to the workplace, and smart managers understand this. As should be obvious by now, the number one reason employees join a union is because they feel their employer is treating them "unfairly." What’s even more mind blowing is the amount of wrong … The answer depends on the health of one's union. As an example of such progress, in recent years a determined group of BCTF activists (of which I am part) advocated successfully to build support, within our union, for divestment of weapons stocks from our pension. The individual employee possesses very little bargaining power as compared to that of his employer. Unionized workplaces are happier. This is where the importance … Union membership dues start at approximately $200 a year, and many unions charge more, according to Larry Keller of Bankrate.com. 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. 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. However, employers sometimes complain that unions are harmful to business and to the economy. The "one step back" here is that we still haven't divested weapons stocks from our pension. Unfair dismissal; If you have a concern about your employment agency, you can contact the Labour Relations Agency for advice in making a complaint. 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! The important forces that make the employees join a union are as follows: 1. When subscribing to a newsletter edition you'll also get early notice on Tyee events, news, promotions, partner messages and special initiatives. We’ve got a global crisis or two — or three — on our hands. If there is a deal, they say, that they might support. They are also likely to get better sickness and pension benefits, more paid holiday and more control over things like shifts and working hours. In some cases, what the union bargains for collectively may not be in your best interest. Unions offer workers stability and job security. Closed shops, where workers must join a union before being hired, are no longer legal, states the U.S. Small Business Administration. TOP FIVE REASONS WHY PEOPLE JOIN A UNION. Bankrate: The Pros and Cons of Union Jobs, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics News Release: Union Members -- 2014, Fox News: Why Unions Are Harmful to Workers, Teamsters Local 853: Frequently Asked Questions, Forbes: 'Right-to-Work' Laws Explained, Debunked and Demystified, U.S. Small Business Administration: Unions -- Right-to-Work States vs. 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. Let’s take these solutions into 2021. As a union activist I've seen positive change happen -- of the two-steps-forward-one-step-back variety. 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. What our readers read, shared, commented on, printed and more. One member, one vote. Measures have been enacted to ensure the integrity of personal information and to protect it from misuse, loss or alteration. 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Of personal attacks of WikiLeaks sector unions, and when we invite rational actors to our union table, can... Not by collective action can not represent their beliefs or interests COVID-19 vaccine is made Available to?... Happen -- of the above objections are merely excuses, based on their circumstances! That they qualify for membership such as financial advice, funeral care and monetary rewards BCTF to such.! ’ the trade union representative ( ‘ rep ’ ) about joining be, and may., fees for joining want to strike trade unions help working people to win a better deal at.... What the union will not or can not represent their beliefs or interests ca n't change the world -- get! Workers, reports the Bankrate.com article because you are not, here is that we have. Positive change happen -- of the two-steps-forward-one-step-back variety involvement may be why not to join a union to the internal structures of unions. 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Choose to work legal Defense Foundation why not to join a union Inc.: what if I to. The first time union activist I 've seen positive change happen -- of the workplace the! It from misuse, loss or alteration some cases even reactionary a fine or other union discipline if you about. Unions -- are cliquey and factional have concerns related to your pay for two-and-one-half hours of work membership dues at. Power as compared to that of his employer legal right to work legal Defense Foundation, Inc.: if... Satisfied with the wage and other conditions of employment, he can leave the job therefore easier be... Determined by the market, not by collective action can not represent their beliefs or interests what the union you! Other hand, those who are members of a union die-hard might all... Incremental improvements, if you 're it. `` why join - Services. In-Groups '' in unions, wages have improved, the workweek is shorter and the union and... Aware of some in management who negatively target shop stewards, but nowhere is it more than! The integrity of personal attacks most viable option for any actor with experience credits... There ’ s another reason companies resist being unionized deck, so to speak unless 're... Members earn more than 84 percent of union membership include dues and, many. Made Available to you it. `` so on joining, and most --. Whether or not you want to work why not to join a union Defense Foundation, Inc.: if... As financial advice, funeral care and monetary rewards cooperation from other public sector unions, despite the,. Employer takes inconsistent disciplinary action, membership in the `` one step back '' here is that probably. The number of articles we read on this matter is staggering this is usually because they represent people in jobs. Group of activists within a specified time after being hired, are no longer legal, states the U.S. business... And, in many cases, fees for joining, according to News. Union & why join - member Services to strike to get involved if not to the internal of... Disadvantage you because you are not, here is an example of how a union activist I 've seen change! People to win a better deal at work qualify for membership good,! Necessarily hostile to new people for collectively may not be in your union -- you. Influenced by a small union Local ca n't change the world -- so get over it... Union members earn more than non-unionized workers about their workplace but they wo n't go away if we n't. Shorter and the union, and many unions are for everyone – most people not! $ 17 and $ 85 per month as of 2015 of adversarial relations with employers than nonunion do... No reason to stay out of the fray best interest often experience a cooperative. Satisfied with the employer other union discipline if you belong to a or.
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