How Do Unions Work
A labor or trade union is an organization of workers dedicated to protecting members’ interests and improving wages, hours and working conditions for all.
No matter what you do for a living, there’s a union with members who do the same thing. Unions represent:
• mechanics, teachers,factory workers,office workers,actors,musicians,police officers,construction workers,airline pilots, plumbers,doctors,pharmacists,IT/computer professionals,government workers at all levels,engineers,writers,nurses, and many more types of workers.
Unions work like a democracy. They hold elections for officers who make decisions on behalf of members, giving workers more power on the job.
How to form a union:
- It starts with the formation of a bargaining unit, a group represented by a union for dealing with an employer.
- It is legal for employers to try to persuade employees not to unionize. However, it is illegal for an employer to prevent employees from unionizing through threats, violence, and other coercive action.
- An employer is required by law to bargain in good faith with a union, although an employer is not required to agree to any particular terms. Once an agreement is reached through negotiations, a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) is signed.
- After a CBA is signed, an employer can’t change details of the agreement without the union representative’s approval. The CBA lasts for a set period of time with the union monitoring to assure the employer abides by the contract. To learn more about collective bargaining and how unions work.
- As with many other organizations, union costs are paid by member dues that typically cost about k2000 a month. Most unions have paid staff to manage their operations. While some staff may be paid by union dues, members also often volunteer.