Thinking about organizing your workplace? Great! Here's some more info.
When you go in to ask for a raise, file a complaint for harassment, or try to get a more flexible schedule, it's you versus the whole company. You're told not to ask your colleagues how much they make, and if you're the squeaky wheel, you're suddenly getting written up for random small things and feeling pretty unwelcome all of a sudden.
Your employer has all the power. Why shouldn't you get some power in your corner?
Generally, union workers make more than non-union workers in salary (and even the children of union workers tend to go on to make more money than their peers whose parents are not union members). Union workers are more likely to have employer-provided health plans and pensions. Unions advocate for more consistent work schedules, paid vacation and sick leave, and lots of other stuff that make our lives at work better.
Unionizing can be risky, but you have rights. There are lots of laws that lots of employers break regularly, but the NLRB specifically protects the rights of most employees in the private sector to talk with their co-workers about how much they make, the safety of their workplaces, and how to improve their working conditions.
According to the Service Employees International Union (SEIU): "On average, union workers’ wages are 30 percent higher than their nonunion counterparts. While only 14 percent of nonunion workers have guaranteed pensions, fully 68 percent of union workers do. More than 97 percent of union workers have jobs that provide health insurance benefits, but only 85 percent of nonunion workers do."
Writers & Broadcasters
From Writers Guild of America - East: "Without a union, an employer can pay you anything they want, as long as it’s at least the minimum wage. They can require you to attend “brainstorming” sessions or write multiple “drafts” of a script for free. They don’t have to provide health care or retirement benefits. They can require you to work 20 hours in a row. They can give their friends writing credits while you, the actual writer, remain invisible. If you’re working non-union right now, you know how true this is.
"When you organize and win a contract, you not only improve your own life, but you help all writers by making the union stronger.
"Contact the WGAE Organizing Department at 212-767-7808 to find out if a strategic organizing campaign could work for you."
The AFL-CIO is "the democratic, voluntary federation of 55 national and international labor unions that represent 12.5 million working men and women." Fields represented include teachers, airline pilots, actors, musicians, school administrators, roofers, waterproofers, office workers, letter carriers, nurses, electrical workers, firefighters, farmers, communications workers, bakery workers, transit workers, and many others.