Labor Unions

Benefits Union Membership

  • Union members make 28% more on average.
  • Most union members have excellent healthcare benefits.
  • Union members enjoy greater job security.
  • Formal grievance procedures prevent employees from being dismissed for arbitrary reasons.
  • Unionized workplaces are not usually subject to employment-at-will.


Do I have the right to join a union?


In order to equalize the disproportionate power between employers and employees, American labor law grants employees the right to unionize and the right to strike, picket, seek injunctions, and other actions to have their demands fulfilled.

The major exception to this rule is if you are considered a "supervisor." A "supervisor", under the National Labor Relations Act is:

"any individual having authority, in the interest of the employer, to hire, transfer, suspend, lay off, recall, promote, discharge, assign, reward, or discipline other employees, or responsibly to direct them, or to adjust their grievances, or effectively to recommend such action, if in connection with the foregoing the exercise of such authority is not of a merely routine or clerical nature, but requires the use of independent judgment. (29 USC 152 (11))"

Many employers misclassify their employes as supervisors in order to prevent them from joining a union.

Find out how to JOIN A UNION today.

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Major American Labor Unions

National Education Association

Service Employees International Union

United Food and Commercial Workers International Union

International Brotherhood of Teamsters

American Federation of Teachers

Laborers' International Union of North America

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers

International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers

Communications Workers of America

United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America

United Steelworkers of America


International Union of Operating Engineers

National Postal Mail Handlers Union

United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada

National Association of Letter Carriers

Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical and Engineering Workers International Union

International Association of Fire Fighters

American Postal Workers Union

American Federation of Government Employees

Amalgamated Transit Union

United American Nurses

Sheet Metal Workers International Association

Office and Professional Employees International Union

International Union of Painters and Allied Trades

International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers

Transport Workers Union of America

Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union

American Association of Classified School Employees

Screen Actors Guild

International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employes, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States and Canada

National Rural Letter Carriers' Association

United Mine Workers of America

International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers

Employee Free Choice Act

The Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), or the so-called "card-check' bill has being introduced in the House and Senate, March 2009. The EFCA would allow workers to form a union by signing authorization cards, rather than through a secret ballot election. It would also impose binding arbitration when employers and unions fail to reach a contract after 120 days.
After years of girding for this fight, labor supporters and business groups are scrambling after the bill's reintroduction to adapt their long-established arguments to suit the crisis. For those opposed to the bill, which would make it easier to form unions, the new message was that it would be a disaster for businesses reeling from the recession.
Three prominent retailers — Starbucks, Costco and Whole Foods — broke March 22nd with other business leaders to offer a "third way," which they hope can bridge the bitter divide over the EFCA.
The three companies formed the Committee for Level Playing Field in response to the EFCA. The Committee would let management keep the right to secret ballot elections and they would not include binding arbitration. But the retailers' plan also expands penalties, allows unions access to employees during nonworking hours and mandates a fixed time for elections so companies can't delay the process.
President Barack Obama has said he wants Congress to pass the Employee Free Choice Act, but he also has signaled a willingness to hear out offers of compromise.
Update: March 24, 2009

What is a labor union?

A labor union is a group of employees that decide to bargain collectively (as opposed to individually) about their terms and conditions of employment. 

Unions are democratic organization. Workers, under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)  have the right to vote, by law,  for collective representation by a labor union.

Workplaces that are represented by labor unions generally have higher salaries and  better benefits packages than than their non-union counterparts (i.e. those that are not unionized within the same occupation).

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