People are always questioning why join the union! Being a person who has experience working both Union and non-union jobs, the answer for me is Union all the way. Unions are always the driving force behind the wage for both union workers and nonunion workers. With union jobs comes good safe working conditions, livable wages, 40-hour work week, paid holidays, paid sick time, overtime pay, health benefits, paid vacations, pension plans and so on. This list is very impressive and important. The most important thing a union member has that a non-union member does not have, is a voice. Voice to advocate for themselves for issues that affect them in their daily life in the workplace. Besides the voice they have professional individuals from the union to help them develop skills to bring these issues to their employer to resolve the issues in their contracts.
With this union solidarity much headway has been made in the past for workers’ rights. But as we work together for the future employees many gains in benefits and workers’ rights will be made for a stronger community as a whole, where pay equity, racial biased and poverty will be eliminated. As a union member, as a worker, and now the senior member in the union I’ve benefited from the strong contract that we negotiated in my working career. But also, as a retired member I’ve benefited from the contract in my retirement, with retiree health insurance, payout of sick leave and pension I was able to retire early.
I’ve been a union member since 1985 and plan on staying active in my union. Because my union has given me so much in my working career and in my retirement, I want to give back. Participation is the best way to do this. In life, much does not come easy, but when we work together wins are more possible and not as difficult as going it alone. As a union member just starting your working career or in your retirement your voice makes a difference. Our union is only as strong as its membership! So now it’s time to roll up your sleeves, like that iconic picture of Rosie the Riveter! There are many issues our Union can use your help on, our union is each one of us, it’s just not the union staff or the executive board or the union steward. It is each of us working together that make our union work. We all have to work together, to sign up employees who are not members of our union, support each other to strengthen our contracts and work on social justice issues in our communities.
Solidarity brothers and sisters of Local 284!