If you just started your first job after graduating college, you might be approached with the option of joining a workers union through your workplace. While you are not required to join a workers union, it might be in your best interest to at least consider joining. Being part of a workers union can be beneficial for you, but it's important to understand what this means before you join. Here are three questions you may have about becoming a member of a workers union.
What Is The Purpose?
Workers unions serve several key purposes, and most experts believe that unions are an important part of every economy. When you join a union, you will most likely:
- Make more money than non-union members
- Have better health insurance coverage
- Have a pension you can take part in
In addition to these benefits, being a member in a union means that you have an entity that will fight for you. Because of this, it may be easier for you to get raises when you deserve them, and solve conflicts between your employer and the employees. When your work environment is unsafe, you can let your union know, and they will investigate it and fight on your behalf. Being a member of a union means that you're not alone.
Do Most People Join?
There are currently approximately 1,000 unions in Canada, and these unions have around four million members. Almost 30% of all workers in Canada are part of a union, and there are unions available for almost any occupation you may have. This includes teachers, construction workers, office managers, and people that work in the medical field.
The one-third of employees that are currently part of a union are primarily people with upper-level jobs. In other words, the reason that 100% of people are not in unions is because a lot of people work in low-paying, entry-level jobs. People that have jobs like these may not be interested in becoming part of a union, or they may never have the offer to become part of one.
According to Working in Canada, anyone with a job has the right to become part of a union, but joining a union is never mandatory. It is strictly up to you to decide whether or not you would like to join. Before making this decision, it's always important to learn as much as you can about the union you are considering joining.
How Can You Join One?
Joining a union is not difficult, but it does cost money. Every union charges dues, which are commonly paid directly out of a person's wages. These dues are to cover the administration costs of the union, and to cover the costs of legal matters, when necessary.
When you begin working at a new job, you can inquire about a union if they do not bring it up. If there is a union in place at this company, you can make an appointment to discuss this with a union representative or organizer. This appointment is designed to give you the information you need, and you will be free to sign up at this time if you'd like to.
If the company you are working for does not currently have a union in place, you could always create a plan to find one for you and your co-workers to join.
Unions are not a necessity in life, but they do offer benefits. As you make this big decision, make sure you thoroughly understand what the pros and cons are of joining a union. If you would like more information, you can contact a workers union in the province you live in, or you can click here.