Why Join a Union?
“To be free, the workers must have choice. To have choice, they must retain in their own hands the right to determine under what conditions they will work.”
— Samuel Gompers
WHAT WORKERs WANT
We all have a stake in the economy and in the future. And most working people share the same basic concerns: they want job security; a voice in their workplace — deciding their wages, hours, and benefits; they want safe working conditions; and they want to be treated with dignity. They want straight talk — about terms and conditions, and about the future — so they can make decisions about their own employment. Workers deserve a way to speak up for their common interests, negotiate the terms of their employment, and, when necessary, to have a system for resolving problems. American workers want democracy in the workplace.
“What workers want most of all is mutual trust and respect, job security, and a fair share of the prosperity they help create.”
Workers must strike a balance between earning a fair wage and ensuring their employer remains profitable; between keeping their jobs and protecting their fringe benefits. But very often today's corporate executives earn many times more than their workers, top management receives bonuses for laying off workers, and companies announce record profits after cutting jobs or reducing employee wages. And what workers want most of all is mutual trust and respect, job security, and a fair share of the prosperity they help create. They simply want the chance to make the American Dream a reality.
Working people don’t always have the voice they need in the workplace or the tools necessary to resolve these issues alone. That’s why unions matter. That’s where we come in.
WHAT ARE UNIONS?
Unions are democracy.
Your vote counts here. Unions embody the true spirit of democracy, where people with common interests can come together and effect real, meaningful change. In a time when many Americans feel their voice is drowned out by the money and influence of special interests, every American still has the chance to exercise real democracy where it matters most: Where we earn our livelihoods.
Many of the most immediate issues that impact our daily work and our quality of life are within the sphere of union activity. Important concerns like job security, wages, health insurance, and retirement are at the heart of achieving financial stability and improving one's quality of life, and union members get to have a say in these and much more.
The process is known as Collective Bargaining. Collective bargaining is when a group of workers negotiate their terms of employment with an employer through a union. These terms often include things like wages, benefits, hours, overtime, leave, health and safety, grievance procedures, and any other concerns that either side may wish to address. This negotiation results in a collective bargaining agreement, which serves as an enforceable labor contract between the union and the employer. Collective bargaining is a very effective way to solve — or prevent — workplace issues, and promote peace and productivity.
A collective bargaining agreement is like an insurance policy for your job — not very different than the insurance policy you buy for your house, car, life, etc.. And it is your job, after all, that provides for those things; why not have a contract — an insurance policy — that protects your employment, as well?
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WHAT UNIONS OFFER
HHWA members enjoy wages and benefits that surpass industry standards. Salary surveys demonstrate that union workers earn substantially more than their non-union peers (up to 30% more). And, with the experience of HHWA’s representatives, you are sure to make impressive gains at the negotiating table.
Union members consistently have higher-than-average access to benefits than non-union workers. Union membership can provide you with additional benefits that will protect you and your family and enhance your quality of life.
A union contract will provide you with a forum in which you can dispute company practices that adversely affect your job.
Better Working Conditions
HHWA members are guaranteed to have a say in their working conditions.
Fairness on the Job
Are you always treated with the respect you deserve? Is the distribution of work always equal? Can you afford to be at the whim of your manager? If you answered “no” to any of these questions, a contract with HHWA can improve your position. As a non-union worker, under the law you were an "at will" employee, which means you may be fired any time the employer chooses, without justified cause. We can negotiate contracts that ensure fairness on the job.
A union contract will defend you against unfair layoffs or discharges. HHWA will be there to represent your interests in any situation in which your contract is being violated. This gives you the security of knowing that your job is protected.
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HOW we all BENEFIT
The workers and the company share one very important thing in common: The success of the company.
Without a reliable, competent, and productive workforce, the company cannot thrive. Without a thriving company, there are no jobs or wages for the workers.
Everyone wants their company to succeed; a good company brings jobs, goods or services, revenues, and pride to a community. But workers are more than just employees:
Workers are also members of the communities in which the company is located
Workers, not company owners, are the real "job creators" of our economy, creating the demand for goods and services that allows the company to exist
Workers and their families and friends are the consumers of the very goods and services the company provides, spending their hard-earned dollars on the products that profit the company.
When workers have job security, a fair wage, healthcare, a retirement plan, etc. they have an incentive and an investment in the future of the company, because it's their future as well.
When employers and workers realize that what they have in common — the success of the company — is most important, they can come together and negotiate an agreement that best benefits everyone.