construction

Importance of Being in the Union (Construction)

When workers come together and form an organised association to talk about making a move as a group to express rights on wages, benefits, insurances, and annual leave, a union is formed. Being in a union is strongly urged because of the many advantages entitled to its members.

Let’s consider first how they operate…

COLLECTIVE BARGAINING

Collective bargaining breathes life into forming a union. When several workers, mainly, union members, come together to elevate its negotiating or bargaining power like in the form of collected signatures over a crane operator petition, for example, that is what we call collective bargaining in action.

There are times when an employee wants to stand up for something. For example, plain request for the implementation of a government law concerning maternity leave goes 100 per cent wage entitlement from 80 per cent. If only one mother would be trying to ask for her right to 100 per cent of her wage, it might be perceived negligible. And as the government leaves its implementation to the company’s discretion, it takes too much time for it to take effect.

So, it gets to the point that it was ignored not intentionally though but, nobody asks for that privilege since there are not many mothers that get pregnant in a year to be given that much attention. She speaks up but doesn’t get heard until she’s already halfway her maternity leave and a month and a half had already passed. Whereas if there was a union to act as a mediator between the employer and the employee, there’s more likely a chance for the privilege to be implemented. And not only that, to be performed on time.

Collective bargaining serves as a way to voice out concerns of labour unions regarding employment rights and privileges with a more active approach because you come in as a band instead of individually; representatives are elected by the union members themselves.

WAGES/SALARY MARK UP

When you join labour unions, you are entitled more of a certain percentage added to your salary as compared to non-members. As of January 2019, The Bureau of Labor Statistics had informed that union members who worked full-time had usual median weekly earnings in 2018 amounting to $1,051 as compared to $860 median weekly earning of non-members. These earnings are reflected from a variety of influences by occupation, age, company size, geographic location, and industry. This is within a collective bargaining agreement within the states of America.

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Some agreements allow differences by percentage. More likely 20 per cent (benefits not yet included) above the usual rate or non-members. In addition to that, they get a consistent yearly salary increase. Overall, the advantage of setting a collective bargaining agreement is that, the employees themselves are involved in setting their salary and how it should be set. Those who aren’t honouring unions leave out their employees in setting the wage rate, leaving them blind-sided.

BENEFITS

There’s an undeniable advantage in becoming a union member because of its ability to give protection to the employee when it comes to dealing with personal issues and any other issues surrounding weather in this case for construction workers who don’t want to be operating a large crane in 35-degree heat. Demands can still benefit workers individually as they come together through collective bargaining regardless of personal setbacks. Union workers enjoy benefits concerning health, retirement with 401ks, and paid sick and maternity (and paternity) leave. 77 per cent of the union workers in America get pensions once they retire according to their Department of Labor compared to that of only 20 per cent of non-union workers. This 77 per cent comes with a guarantee of continued payments.

REPRESENTATIVES

In line with these benefits and many more, you must choose the union representative you may want to trust along the way. You must take note of the majority’s representative in your company or your firm to get hold of the collective bargaining effectively and to avail of its service at its maximum capacity.

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