Chances for employment are getting smaller and smaller. College graduates as well as blue-collar workers have difficulty finding a job during the current recession. The consequences are noticeable in different markets. The circumstances are not very encouraging especially if you are a blue-collar worker seeking a job. The number of employees at numerous manufacturing companies has been reduced. Therefore, it might be time to take some steps to improve your current situation — joining the union might be a smart step to take.
Starting with the most important thing — wages are 15% higher on average at union jobs compared to non-union positions. Becoming a member of a union will give you an opportunity to earn more. There are some claims that the increase in wages is taken as a monthly fee for union membership, which are not true. The monthly fee is about 50 dollars, which is less than 15% of earnings on a yearly basis. So, you will earn more money if you join a union.
Companies aren’t willing to become unions or to hire their workforce. The reasons for that, besides having to pay higher wages, are various perks. These include medical insurance, sick pay, pensions, paid vacations, overtime pay and much more. These advantages are provided by unions.
Safety record at union jobs is much greater compared to non-union job positions. Having a contract with a union provides workers with safety while working. Having a contract with a union makes safety provision guaranteed.
You have a right to personal dignity that cannot be compromised by the harassing hiring managers, bosses or inappropriate behavior of other workers. If you don’t work right, they can still fire you but you would be able to work and be respected.
Having a union membership, you wouldn’t have to live in fear of being fired because your boss decided to hire his relative to do your job. There is no arbitrary firing at union jobs. There would have to be a really strong reason why you are getting fired. The same is for promotion — you cannot be prevented from advancing at work if you deserve it. Manufacturing jobs at higher ranks had been inaccessible to African Americans, as well as to women, until unions changed this. However, unions haven’t gained much recognition for allowing this to happen.
Workers in a union, compared to those that aren’t in one, are generally better workers. The reason for this is simple — union job positions attract better-qualified workers than any non-union, low-pay job without any benefits. In addition to this, hiring managers at union jobs have a larger number of candidates competing for the same job and thus the opportunity to choose the most experienced and hard working employees.
As a member of a union, there is a possibility of your becoming a shop steward one day. Other members can choose you to represent them if you show interest to become one and prove to be capable. This is a great privilege and is far from a contest — it’s a position that requires great responsibility. The federal labor law recognizes the authority of union officials. It also implies that the elected members become part of the American labor movement, which has its own significance.