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Teamsters Local 362 is here to answer any questions you may have about labour unions, and/or how to join one. Please contact us by using the confidential form below.
HAVING ISSUES AT WORK?
Your job should provide you with a fair wage, safe environment and benefits for you and your family. You should feel respected and that your voice is heard in the workplace no matter what position you’re in. Unfortunately, this is becoming increasingly less common in Canada.
Workers are finding themselves in jobs where wages are low, benefits and pension plans are non-existent and and they are seen as a number, rather than valued employees. When employers know they hold the power, they won’t make any changes to address an unfair workplace. Whether you’re experiencing one or multiple issues, the bottom line is you’ve had enough.
ARE YOU PROTECTED?
If you don’t have a union then the answer is no. Through collective bargaining, unions ensure you’re paid a good wage, have job security, seniority and that your voice is heard and respected. Unions ensure you are safe both inside the workplace and outside, with the distribution of pension and benefits.
If your employer violates any aspect of the collective agreement, you can be assured it will not be tolerated. You will have a grievance procedure process in place with a union to ensure that you’re never taken advantage of in the workplace. Without this, you are not protected.
WHAT IS A UNION?
A simple definition of a union is an association of workers that protect rights in the workplace, but it is so much more than that. The labour movement not only protects your rights, but fights for an overall better quality of life for all workers.
You have thought about joining a union, but you probably still have some questions. You’re about to take a big step in improving your workplace and you will want to have all of the facts as you get started.
The unionization process is known as organizing and you can do it with a Teamsters 362 organizer by your side. Deciding you want to create change in your workplace is a big decision, but the process to unionize is an exciting and powerful one. It may seem daunting at first but when you have Teamsters 362 to stand by you, the entire journey can be an incredibly rewarding experience.
When you decide to unionize you’re going to get a lot of questions from your coworkers and probably some promises from management. You need to be prepared for this as you enter into organizing. Here are some of the answers to a few of the most common questions and concerns you’re likely to encounter along the road to unionization.
There are a few myths that have circulated about labour unions over the years that are simply not true. Here we have listed some of the most common ones and provided the actual facts you need to know about unions and organizing.
You will lose all of your freedom in the workplace
- This is simply not true. If anything, unions give you more freedom. The freedom to know you can do your job safely, you can bring up issues without fear of repercussion and you can work free of harassment.
You are forced to strike
- Unions are always trying to negotiate to create an agreement, not to go on strike. As a member, you will never be forced into a strike. Strikes are always a last resort and are only taken if members vote to take it.
Your voice is never heard within the union
- You always have a voice in the membership. With Shop Stewards, Business Agents and regular meetings – members are always able to voice their concerns and have them addressed by the union.
You can be fired if you disagree with the union
- You have every right to disagree with your union. Having a voice and taking part in your union is one of the most important aspects of the membership. We encourage all members to let a Shop Steward, Business Agent or the Leadership know if they have any issues with a collective bargaining agreement or treatment in the workplace. You should never be afraid of losing your job.
Unions treat employers as the enemy
- Working with managers and the company to make sure employees are treated fairly and with respect is the goal of a union. The employer is part of the process of negotiation and creating and maintaining an amicable relationship with them is important.
Unions have outlived their usefulness
- This couldn’t be further from the truth. The fact is unions are needed now more than ever. With the rise in precarious work and the shrinking middle class, workers are seeing stagnant wages, the elimination of benefits and pensions and the rise of inequality. Unions have been raising the bar for workers for decades in wages, health and safety and benefits.
Workers are forced to join unions
- The process of unionizing is completely democratic and everyone can make the decision for themselves. No one is ever forced to sign a card and labour laws across the country make sure of that.
Unions protect lazy people who should be fired
- A union is there to make sure a workplace is fair, and that means making sure hard workers are protected by a collective agreement that outlines what is expected of them and the employer. Part of a fair workplace is making sure everyone contributes what they’re supposed to, this makes sure everyone wins.
Unions make unreasonable demands
- Unions are representing your interests as a member and our negotiation process always reflects that. In negotiating with your employer we are always trying to get you the best deal that is possible because you work hard and deserve to be treated and compensated fairly.
You won’t be able to talk to your managers or bosses
- Unionization usually strengthens the relationship and communication between managers and employees. With a union, your voice is amplified and you will be able to have your voice and concerns heard by supervisors and management.
Unions use your dues to support politicians and political movements you may not agree with
- You are part of a movement that fights for the rights of all workers. Teamsters Local 362 has been dedicated to campaigns that support health, welfare and human rights, and as a bipartisan organization, we would never use your dues to back any political causes or candidates you don’t support.
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