Advantages of Working Union
There are very tangible advantages to being a Union Carpenter, Millwright, Floor Coverer, Lather or Pile Driver. Working union generally means higher pay, regular raises, better fringe benefits and a collective bargaining agreement that spells out terms and conditions on the job.
Working union means a lot more than that, however:
Strength in Numbers
As a member of the Union, you benefit from strength in numbers and the power of unity. We negotiate our wages and working conditions together; they are not imposed upon us. The wages and benefits are the same regardless of who you work for; you don’t have to beg your employer or try to cut your best deal every time you finish one job and start another one.
With the union in your corner and a collective bargaining agreement in your pocket, you are never on your own.
Belonging to a union means you are not alone if your boss wants to fire you, pays you late, refuses to pay you overtime, unilaterally cuts your pay, or plays favorites. You are not on your own if your boss tries to deny you the workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance you have earned.
We have a sophisticated job referral system to help you find work with various contractors. You don’t have to be tied to the peaks and valleys of one company’s fortunes. If times are tough, you can even work for signatory contractors anywhere in the United States or Canada without losing benefits coverage or having to start from scratch.
We have free training so you can keep your skills up-to-date regardless of where you are in your career.
Members are now able to vote on their own contracts.
Union construction workers earn, on average, 60 percent more than nonunion workers doing the same kinds of jobs, according to the federal government. Plus, union workers typically have better benefits than their non-union counterparts.
What does that mean in real dollars? Union construction workers earn an average of $376 more each week. That’s $9.40 an hour. That gap is the “nonunion dues” unrepresented workers never see on their paychecks.
To put it another way, the typical nonunion construction worker must be on the clock almost 13 hours a day to earn what the typical union construction worker earns in 8 hours.
Union construction workers earn this because we bring strength in numbers, first-rate training and well-rounded value to the jobsite. Studies document the superior productivity of union workers — as much as 52 percent higher than nonunion crews on some projects. We do more in less time, and do it right the first time. Our ability to get the job done on time and on budget means our contractors make money. Because they make money, we make money.
Union Fringe Benefits
In addition to higher wages, union workers typically have more benefits. We typically pay less out of pocket for the benefits we do have. In our region, most members have family health insurance, prescription drug coverage, dental insurance, vision, a pension, disability pay, a death benefit, and vacation pay.