Unions and You | LabourBlawg

Unions and You

by jmachie on August 28, 2013

Unions are an important part of labour law, although many might consider them just a part of its history. After all, unions are talked about rarely in the main three professions: doctors, lawyers, and engineers. These professions not only comes with prestige but protection that often leaves unions out of the picture.

So, are unions still relevant? The short answer is yes.

Why? Well, unions are still working hard to protect people who work in professions with less prestige and therefore less protection. Here are some professions where unions are still very relevant:

  • Taxicab drivers

  • Housemaids

  • Restaurant workers

  • Hotel workers

  • Construction and labor workers

Unions were really big a few decades ago, and they served to bring many industries out of the dark ages, giving workers back their rights and regulating many aspects of a job that workers find important: hours, wages, and benefits like vacations and insurance. And, these days, that’s what people are still using and joining unions for.

So, here’s more about unions and you.

Unions and You

Unions can do a lot for you, and depending on your profession, you might want to consider joining one or even starting your own.

Unions are best when the workers have a common interest, if not a common background, and can present a united front to management. Management, if bad, can incite and instigate you to desire a union, because forming a large group will often give you more bargaining power than you would have alone as an individual.

So, we talked about what you want from management, but what does management want from you?

Sometimes, they’ll want a no-strike clause in what becomes the collective bargaining agreement– the ends that the means– a union, seeks.

However, this can be hard to give up.

In the end, if you feel that a union can help you and your co workers bargain with management for the things you need, then don’t hesitate to join or form one, especially if they are already common in your line of work and helping workers in other states gain the  hours, wages, and benefits they desire. In fact, unions can also help you get your job back if you were terminated without just cause or dismissed unfairly, and there are many laws in place to protect the formation and freedom of expression and use of power afforded to workers by unions.

Jennifer Machie writes for the McMinn Law Firm.

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