Understanding The Union
Employers and workers seem to approach employment from vastly different perspectives. So how can the two sides reach any sort of agreement? The answer lies in unions. Unions have played a role in the worker-employer dialogue for centuries, but in the last few decades many aspects of the business environment have changed. With this in mind, it’s important to understand how unions fit into the current business environment, and what role unions play in the modern economy.
What Are Unions?
Unions are organizations that negotiate with corporations, businesses and other organizations on behalf of union members. There are trade unions, which represent workers who do a particular type of job, and industrial unions, which represent workers in a particular industry. The American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) is a trade union, while the United Auto Workers (UAW) is an industrial union.
How does the union work?
We work together to make improvements by organizing in the workplace and negotiating at the bargaining table. Through our union, we negotiate a binding contract with management covering issues such as pay, benefits, working conditions and fairness in disciplinary proceedings. By working together we can insist management establishes a relationship of mutual respect.
What rights do I have as a union member?
Our union is democratic and run by the members. Every one of us as the right to vote to elect union leaders, run for office, note to set our dues structure and vote to approve or reject the union contract.
How can we win more rights and respect at work?
Who do I contact if I have problems on the job?
Contact your local union president or shop steward. Council 67 has one of the best trained, strongest shop steward networks in the nation. Your local union officers and shop stewards have gone through extensive training learning to investigate with management and develop strategies for improving the workplace.
Do we have a presence in Annapolis?
Council 67 is one of the most well respected unions lobbying in Annapolis. With the support of our international union, we have a powerful voice at the legislature. Our victories include expanding collective bargaining to cover non-certificated public school employees, and securing greater pension benefits for many of our retirees. Recently, we secured collective bargaining rights for Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission and the Housing Authority of Baltimore City.
How do I participate in my union?
There are many ways you can help make our union stronger, but the most basic is by attending local union meetings. We are training Member Action Teams (MATs) across the state to be the pivotal information source for local leadership.