UNIONS! THE TRUTH!
If you aren’t already a union member, you should consider doing so. Here’s why:
Working people from all walks of life join together in unions to gain a voice at work. This includes laborers, highly skilled professionals and technical workers, even professional athletes, actors and actresses.
As a union member, you have a strong collective voice for negotiating a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with employers about pay, benefits, working conditions, and how their jobs get done. In Pennsylvania, you are an “Employee at Will” if you don’t have a CBA, and it is NOT your will! Thus, having that collective voice gives you a union advantage. Even some CEOs of the largest companies have joined together to develop CBAs.
Today, more people are taking steps to form unions than at any time in recent history. You can be one of them! The first step to joining a union is to contact your individual local union for facts and guidance on organizing.
MYTHS VERSUS FACTS
Myth: Unions are outside, special-interest groups.
Fact: Workers are the union. A union is simply a democratic organization of working people standing up for their rights on the job and in society. Unions also bring people together in the community to stand up for issues that matter to all working people.
Myth: Unions mean more conflict in the workplace.
Fact: Unions can make the workplace a more harmonious place to work. A union contract allows the company and workers to sit down and amicably discuss situations as they come up. Without union representation, workers lives are often in turmoil because they have to deal with favoritism, economic insecurity and unsafe working conditions and practices.
Myth: Companies close due to unions.
Fact: Companies close for economic reasons and the vast majority of companies that close is non-union. Some companies, however, like to keep this myth alive by illegally threatening workers who attempt to form a union and saying the company will close. Studies have shown that, in fact, unions help decrease employee turnover and can increase efficiency, which is in support of company development.
Myth: Unions just want workers’ dues.
Fact: Dues support the operation of the organization; unions are not-for-profit organizations. The improvements workers receive in treatment, pay and benefits far outweigh the cost of dues. Through a democratic process, each local union sets the dues structure.
Myth: Most union bosses are corrupt.
Fact: It’s a tragic situation when a trusted leader betrays the membership in any kind of organization. However, for every high-profile story that is in the media about a corrupt union leader, there are thousands of regular, honest leaders who are never profiled.
Myth: Unions are quickly shrinking.
Fact: Actually, the number of union members has stayed steady for the past 50 years, but the workforce itself has grown. Sixteen million working men and women in the United States are union members.
Myth: Unions used to be effective, but they’re not anymore.
Fact: Unions are still by far the best way for working people to ensure economic security and have a voice on the job. The numbers tell the story: Union members make at least 25 percent more in wages than workers who do not have a union. Union members are much more likely to have a defined benefit pension plan and health care package than workers without unions. Unions also curb discrimination on the job, keep the workplace safe and give workers a much-needed voice.
Myth: Unions are political organizations that elect Democrats.
Fact: Unions do a lot more than politics. Most of a union’s work involves negotiating for good contracts, helping workers improve their lives and standing up for all working families. Through their unions, workers support candidates who address issues of working families and who work for good laws. A union’s political work is not about electing Democrats or Republicans; it’s about electing people who stand up for working people.
WHAT UNIONS HAVE ACCOMPLISHED