While the vast majority of employees have minimal rights, unions strive to improve these rights while implementing additional rights and giving employees the freedom to enforce them as necessary. Unions can influence salary, contractual benefits, and even workplace safety and employee wellness.
Nevertheless, if you want to start a union at your workplace because there isn’t one, or join an existing union, here are four surefire reasons you are making a wise decision for your career.
- Improved Working Conditions
Workers’ unions are prominent in risky industries like construction, manufacturing, and others primarily because they aim to improve working conditions for employees. However, this benefit does not only apply to those working in dangerous industries; a union can bargain better working conditions for all employees.
If you are currently overworked, underpaid, and unable to get enough time off work to enjoy your life, a union can fight for a better work-life balance for the entire workforce.
- Fair Pay
When a single employee finds the motivation and courage to press their employer for better pay, there’s a good chance the request will be overlooked and forgotten. On the other hand, when an entire workforce collectively argues that their salary is just not enough, especially when company profits are high, employers are forced to consider re-evaluating pay scales.
- Better Benefits
Decent benefits are as significant for employees as fair pay. Most employers provide great benefits for their workforces, while a smaller number of employers go above and beyond to offer their employees additional benefits.
But if your employer has overlooked benefits altogether or offers minimal benefits that barely make a difference, a union can bargain better benefits for all employees. These benefits include health insurance, disability and life insurance, travel allowance, paid time off, and more.
- Fair Layoff Processes
There is hardly anything more stressful for a professional than to find out they have been laid off with immediate effect and no severance package. Not only is it near impossible to secure alternative employment right away, but it’s even more unlikely to make last month’s pay stretch over the duration of indefinite unemployment.
So if your employer has not implemented fair layoff practices, starting or joining a union is wise to bargain this process with your employer as a collective. Employees cannot be ignored or overlooked when presented as a collective workforce. Because unions bargain on behalf of all employees at the company, they uphold ideal working standards for everyone.
With that said, if you are concerned that joining or starting a union would negatively impact your employment, bear in mind that all employees are protected by labor laws that guarantee the right for professionals to bargain collectively and participate in union activity. However, when starting a union, it’s essential to consult a local union organizer outside of work hours for guidance that will help you avoid common mistakes and follow the laws. Union organizers will guide you through the sometimes complex union formation process.
For more articles, visit OD Blog.