Why Workers Organize
In a perfect world your employer would provide you with decent wages, good benefits, a safe place to work, and treat you with respect. Unfortunately, most do not.
- In the United States workers organized Unions to protect one another by Bargaining Collectively to establish rules of conduct, wages and benefits.
- To protect themselves from employers who have taken advantage of them.
Workers organize over some very basic issues
- When Company polices are not clear and understandable.
- When Supervisors are inconsistent in regards to non-discriminatory work practices.
- When workers are unclear in respect to work schedules, time-off, work assignments, pay cuts, or any other changes.
- When Supervisors lack fair, consistent and tactful disciplinary procedures.
- When workers are mistreated by supervisors and owners.
- Disrespectful, discourteous, and inconsiderate treatment.
- The inability of the Company to listen when workers speak.
- The unwillingness of the Company to address work place problems.
- Unwillingness of supervisors to represent workers when they are right.
- Lack of sympathy for workers personal problems.
- Lack of supervisory training.
- Poor working Conditions.
- Unresolved Grievances.
- A lack of respect, dignity and work place justice.
- Low Wages, Poor Benefits and Poor Retirement Plans.(Amazingly, Poor Wages and Benefits are usually not the primary reasons workers organize.)
Unionized Workers Earn More
- According to the U.S. Department of Labor unionized workers earn 28% more then nonunion workers.
- Unionized women earn 31% more than nonunion women.
- Unionized African Americans earn 37% more than nonunion African American workers.
- And Unionized Latin American Workers earn 55% more than nonunion Latin American Workers.
Unions Increase Productivity
According to most recent studies. The voice that union members have on the job:
- sharing in decision making about promotions and
- work production standards
Increases productivity and improves management practices. Better training, lower turnover and longer tenure also make union workers more productive.
Source: Dale Belman, “Unions, the Quality of Labor Relations, and Firm Performance,” in Unions and Economic Competitiveness, eds. Lawrence Mishel and Paula B. Voos (Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, Inc.: 1992), pp. 41-107. Prepared by the AFL-CIO.
Union Workers Stay Longer
Nearly 50 percent of union workers have been with their current employers for at least 10 years, only 22 percent of nonunion workers can make the same claim. Union workers have greater job stability, in part because they’re more satisfied with their jobs, receive better pay, have better benefits and have access to fair grievance procedures. Even more important, most collective bargaining agreements protect union members from unjust discharge. Nonunion workers are “employees at will” who can be fired at any time for any reason-or for no reason.
These are only a few of many reasons why workers organize. Are You Ready to become a Union Organizer?
Spreading the word with speed
As part of its organizing strategic plan, District Lodge 190’s decided to do more outreach to potential members. “We decided to focus on events that relate to auto or motorcycle racing,” says Area Director Don Crosatto. “If guys work on cars, they tend to like cars.”
The District’s first outing was at Pinks All Out, an event for rank and file drag racers in all classifications that’s very popular on the Speed Network.
We rented a booth from the track near the other vendors at Infineon. Numerous reps and members spent a September weekend handing out IAM information, stickers, t-shirts and keychains.
“We saw IAM members and folks from other unions who were pleased to see us there. Several 1414 members did the race, as did Business Rep Steve Older, who took 8th place out of 400 entries.
We made several contacts and got a hot organizing lead for a shop in Juneau, Alaska. “This work is important but doesn’t have an immediate payback. We see it more as planting seeds, which always take time to grow,” says Crosatto.