Labor Unions

Why Employees Join Unions

Employers are almost always opposed to unions, while workers are often open to union membership. We'll tell you why unions are so appealing to your employees.

Employers go to great lengths to prevent their workers from forming a union.

The perception is that unionized employees are less motivated than non-unionized employees since they have fewer incentives to exceed performance expectations, not to mention the fact that a union shop limits the amount of control a small business owner has in his own workplace.

Employees, on the other hand, have a less hostile attitude toward unionization. Since unions are designed to protect workers' rights and maintain fair employment practices, many employees see unions as a partner in their employment journey.

By taking the time to understand why employees join unions, anti-union employers can work toward creating work environments that eliminate the need for unionization. If you give your employees the same benefits and advantages as unions, your workers won't have to pay dues to a union and your workplace can remain union-free.

  • Stability. Unions offer workers stability and job security. Barring catastrophic circumstances, union employees know that their job is secure and that the employer has well-defined disciplinary processes. When union members go from one job to the next, they know that their compensation and employment status will likely remain unchanged.
  • Benefits. Members of unions receive guarantees when it comes to benefits like retirement and health insurance. Since benefits are one of the issues addressed in collective bargaining agreements, union contracts ensure that workers' benefits will remain unchanged for the duration of the contract term.
  • Equity. Union employees benefit from the union's efforts to secure fair and equitable compensation for all union members. It's typical for union contracts to specify fixed compensation amounts for each class of worker. Although employers may be prohibited from providing merit raises on a case-by-case basis, union employees see that as a small price to pay for equitable compensation.
  • Safety. Safety is a major union concern. In addition to providing their members with equitable compensation and fair employment practices, unions are charged with making sure employers comply with OSHA standards and practices that create the safest possible work environment.
  • Advocacy. If an employee feels he is being treated unfairly, he can count on his union to advocate on his behalf. The consistent application of an employee grievance process can accomplish the same thing, as long as the employer demonstrates a similar commitment to resolving employee issues in a timely manner.

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