We all want to have a job that allows us to take care of ourselves and our families. Paid sick leave, affordable health care, paid vacation, retirement, flexible work week, and safe workplaces are important to all of us. Not many people, however, know that the benefits working people enjoy today are a result of union representation.
Unions are a cornerstone of our democracy and our middle class. Unions are more important now than ever considering how corporate profits have skyrocketed the past 40 years while wages remain stagnant. In 2017, CEOs make 271 times more than the average worker. It doesn't have to be that way.
By joining together with our coworkers, we gain bargaining power to negotiate for a better life.
Being a union member should be one of everyone’s career goals.
Here are 9 reasons why everyone needs to join a union NOW:
- Union members earn more than non-union members
Union members have consistently earned more than non-union members. In 2015, for example, union members earned about $200 a week more than those who don’t belong to a union, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s $9,600 more a year. Union members also tend to receive more regular raises than non-union members.
- Union members are more likely to have health insurance than non-union members
Union members have employer-provided health insurance and likely receive better coverage than those offered to non-union members.
- Union members have more retirement security than non-union members
A secure retirement is one of the main reasons people join a union. Workers want to be able to retire without financial worries after decades of hard work. A secure retirement is a prized benefit for union members.
- Union members are more likely to have paid sick leave and paid vacation than non-union members
Employees shouldn’t have to choose between a paycheck and our health or that of our loved ones. That’s why paid leave is one of the great benefits of being a union member.
- Union members have better protections against abuses in the workplace
While non-union members are subject to the whims of their managers, union members are protected by a union contract that ensures fair treatment for everyone and there are procedures and protections for filing complaints or disciplinary actions.
- Union members are less likely to get injured on the job than non-union members
Union reps ensure employers comply with workplace health and safety laws. Having a union also allows employees to report health and safety hazards without fear of retaliation from the employer.
- Union members have better work-life balance than non-union members
Unionized workers tend to have more flexibility than non-union members when it comes to work schedules. Unionized workers are less likely to be forced to work overtime, let alone without pay.
- Union members have better job security
Non-union members can get fired any time for any or no reason. If you are a union member, your manager must have a reason to discipline or fire you, and there is a procedure in place to make sure all parties are treated fairly.
- Union members are happier than non-union members
According to a recent study , the benefits of being a union member go well beyond decent wages and retirement security. The authors found that “union members are more satisfied with their lives than those who are not members and that the substantive effect of union membership on life satisfaction is large and rivals other common predictors of quality of life.” In other words, unions boost the overall quality of life for their members.
Are you missing out on these great benefits? Join AFGE today !