December 14th, 2015

Why Unions Still Matter

Unions are the reason workers have many of the rights that exist in the workplace today – minimum wage, weekends and safety standards. We thought we would list just a few of the reasons why having unions in the workplace is still extremely important.

1.     Balances Power

When you are employed by a larger company, it may feel like you are just a small fish in a big pond. Unions continue to balance power by giving members a voice in the workplace. With collective agreements, shop stewards and business agents, members know they have people standing behind them so that their human rights are guaranteed in the workplace.

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2.     Lobbying Group For Interests of Canadians

Not only do unions fight for the rights of their own members, but call citizens of Canada. They can act as a lobbying group for issues that affect all Canadians. Teamsters Local 362 and Teamsters Canada recently ran a #MakeItMandatory mental health campaign raising awareness about the need for mental health support in the workplace. Both groups also encouraged all Canadians to vote, no matter what party they were voting for.

3.     Benefits and Pay

When it comes to pay, the union advantage is clear. Union members earn$5.28/hour more, on average, than non-union workers and women in a union earn $7.10/hour more, on average, than non-union. Workers in a union also receive great benefits, with health coverage for them and their family.

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4.     Sets The Bar

Having strong unions not only benefits its members, but all workers, setting the bar at unionized workplaces for other workplaces to follow. Unions raise wages and working condition standards for all, and have been for a long time.


5 Responses

  1. Gerald says:

    And thats why so many companies r going to offshore countries,right,be cause we want to rape the employer

  2. Joseph Tantillo says:

    Yes totally agree with point’s given.Without a union for represtation in most cases they will be no contact.Without a working contact ,a lack of purpose will allow no real agreement to be present there will be no respect for worker’s.therefore worker,s will be short changed in all the given point’s above.Ever workplace need’s common ground and balance of fairness for any worker to be healthy and for employer’s business to be truily stable. Wake up people ,go union. local445

  3. Dennis Nault says:

    I was a manager in the public service for over 25 years and I never regret managing in a unionised environment. I know it helped me be the best boss I could possibly be. Please don’t think it’s always “us” against “them”…..but then again, my Dad was Union (and vice president of his local for a while).

    More importantly though, I know deep inside that unions have helped make workplaces better for everyone, including those not yet unionised.

    • Patner says:

      southwest may be a good example of unnois that work. part of the reason is a unique culture and hiring practices (based on personality tests, not prior experience for all the customer facing employees). i think another part is that employees at SWA have always have significant equity compensation. i agree that they are a high quality airline, though i’m not so sure they are globally competitive, just better that the rest of our domestic trash. US airlines are hands down the worst in the developed world. as a domestic air carrier, southwest is heavily protected and coddled. i suspect that if ryanair were allowed to compete in the US, you might see a very different story.i just ran a search for ryanair fares from london to madrid. i got 47.99 GBP roundtrip. that’s about $77, not even 1/4 the price of the southwest flight from oakland to park city, a shorter route.do you think SWA could compete with that? i don’t. they have 4% net margins. alternately, i recently flew austria airlines from amsterdam to sofia changing places in vienna. this was a very “southwest” kind of route and i paid less that i would have for a comparable SWA flight and got free booze and a hot meal on each leg of the flight.so, while SWA may look good in the walled little garden of the US, they are nothing like globally competitive.overall, you gotta admit, unnois were pretty much death for the airlines as a whole. it was only by getting out from under them through BK in many cases that has allowed many of them to continue to exist. SWA did not really go interstate until the early 80’s which let them negotiate at a time when the unnois in the industry were on the run. i don’t know enough to say whether their union relationships were just an accident of history or not.

  4. Jeff Nash says:

    I’m not a Teamster but I was an organizer for another Private Sector Union. Union’s still matter because the common fight still has not been won. We live in a country where women make (at best) 75 cents on the dollar that a white male makes; even less if they’re a worker of colour.

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