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The Stewards Handbook - What Difference Does a Union Make?

As a steward, it's your job to sell the benefits of union membership to unorganized workers. And it doesn't hurt to remind our own members from time to time, either. Here (in capsule form) are eight big advantages unions bring to a workplace:

Wages, benefits, working
Protected by legal contract. At the whim of management.
Wages Spelled out in the contract. Secret. Negotiated individually by management.
Raises Bargained for everyone. All workers vote on the settlement. Favoritism can determine individual raises.
Discipline The union will defend you. Lots of luck. You' re on your own.
Promotions Awarded fairly according to negotiated agreement. Favoritism, the romance, blackmail, you name it.
Vacations, shifts, layoffs Based on the negotiated agreement. See above.
Problems Union will work on the job to solve them. Their way or the highway.
Give people a voice in the political arena Work for laws that protect all working people and their families. Take away or weaken laws that protect workers, i.e., health and safety, overtime, etc.


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