Why join a union?
Have you ever had an idea on how to make your job and where you work better in some way? Throughout history, working people have stood together to have a voice where they work and a seat at the table to negotiate good wages and decent benefits for their families. This simple concept can apply to everyone, regardless of where you work or who your boss is.
People who work for a living know about the inequality of power between employers and employees. Workers form unions to counter-balance the unchecked power of employers. With a union, working people win basic rights, like a say in their jobs, safety and security. Unions fight discrimination because union contracts ensure all workers are treated fairly and equally. When there’s a problem on the job, workers and management can work together as equals to solve it.
How do people form a union?
When workers decide they want to come together to improve their jobs, they work with a union to help them form their own local chapter. Once a majority of workers show they want a union, sometimes employers honor the workers’ choice. Often, the workers must ask the government to hold an election. If the workers win their union, they negotiate a contract with the employer that spells out each party’s rights and responsibilities in the workplace.
Does the law protect workers forming unions?
Under the law, employers are not allowed to discriminate against or fire workers for choosing to join a union. For example, it’s illegal for employers to threaten to shut down their businesses or to fire employees or take away benefits if workers form a union.
What kinds of workers are forming unions today?
A wider range of people than ever before, including many women and immigrants, are joining unions— child care providers, digital news staff, doctors and nurses, poultry workers and graduate employees, home health care aides, auto parts workers and engineers, to name a few.