Advantages of Working Union
There are tangible advantages to being a Professional Carpenter, Floor Coverer, Millwright, 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.
Joining the union means a lot more than that, however. You’ll have:
• Access to a network of 16 training centers
• Free training in multiple crafts: carpentry, floor covering, millwrighting, pile driving
• Access to some 1,500 signatory contractor employers in our 6-state area
• Ability to take your skills and network with you if you move to a different city
• Direct entry for U.S. military veterans (no sponsoring contractor needed)
• Free tuition
• The ability to earn while you learn
• Access to professional development/leadership training
• Opportunities to work for the biggest employers in the industry on your community’s most exciting projects
• Opportunities to make new friends and be part of a team
• Well-rounded skills you can rely on throughout your life
• Access to mentors
• The ability to give an advisory vote on your own contract
• Peace of mind knowing we drug test for safety
Strength in Numbers
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.
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 Fringe Benefits
In addition to higher wages, union workers typically have more benefits and we usually 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.