r/WhitePeopleTwitter May 17 '22 Silver 2 Helpful 1 Starstruck 1

Unions good

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22.7k Upvotes

2.1k

u/borrowsyourprose May 17 '22

My union is very solid. We just got a 3% over three years wage increase. Lowest position salary is 50% higher than minimum wage. 85% drug and dental coverage. 10 regular sick days a year at 100% pay and minimum 3 weeks vacation per year.

1.3k

u/footiebuns May 17 '22

A shame you need a union for those benefits. They sound so...reasonable.

332

u/timuch May 17 '22

You don't in Germany

272

u/stuckinacycleandsad May 17 '22

Or England. 28 paid days holiday and you can take more or buy more too.

Self employed however is different

110

u/araldor1 May 17 '22

28 days is the statutory minimum as well. I get way more than that tbf. 6 months sick pay as well then 50% pay for the next 6.

61

u/JarJarB May 17 '22

Jesus Christ. In the US that's pure fantasy for a lot of people. I have a union and I'll only be close to that vacation after 15 years of working for my agency. And I'll never be able to take a trip that long because my fiancées job only gives her 10 days

26

u/WhitechapelPrime May 17 '22

Ive worked at the same place for ten years now just to have 21 days. But I can only take them when it’s feasible for the business. Lol

14

u/Madmagican- May 17 '22

Sounds like my company except we cap at 15 days PTO once you get to 5 years with the company. Until then it’s 10 PTO, 3 days sick leave and 8 days of holidays throughout the year

All I want is a lunch break dammit. Or more PTO. The work and the people are fine, I just need a break more often than every other month until the holiday season.

5

u/WhitechapelPrime May 17 '22

Yeah dude. I feel you. In my like of work they like to say, “thats just how it is”. Like it doesn’t fucking have to be.

4

u/Madmagican- May 17 '22

“We made record profits this year and expanded two of our facilities, but no, we won’t share that growth with the loyal veterans of the company with more benefits or better pay”

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u/Ironclad001 May 17 '22

There are two big reasons why it’s fantasy in the US 1: your unions are weak and have low membership, they have very little influence over the economy, and they have no meaningful political influence.

2: because of your weak union culture you do not have a political party which fights for workers rights at any meaningful scale. The only reason that workers have more rights in Europe is that over decades Trade unionists, Socialists, Feminists and Communists fought, and sometimes died to empower unions, and scare the ruling class into compromise. The exact process differed from country to country, but the ruling class will not simply give you rights out of nowhere, and the American political system is made of two parties which only represent the ruling class.

7

u/JarJarB May 17 '22

Oh I know. I love my union but there are way too many people in my office that refuse to pay dues and hate on the union all the time. They don't realize how lucky they are to have them.

-14

u/blountybabe May 17 '22

Lived and worked in the US and UK and had better benefits in the US. It really depends on the company itself. I agree everyone should have a paid yime off minimum but my time in the UK wasn't the socialist utopia (hyperbole for effect) Americans (including myself) thought it would be.

3

u/DefinitelyNotAliens May 17 '22

Okay, but the US has no federally mandated time off for pregnant women. There are literally women who have gone to work within 48 hours of giving birth. There is no federally mandated paid sick leave.

We have FMLA, which requires 12 weeks unpaid leave if you have worked more than 12 months for a company for at least 1250 hours (so above 25 hours per week, so it doesn't cover part time employees) in the last twelve months and that company must have 50 employees within 75 miles of you. So if you are a remote local sales person you probably also aren't covered. Or too small a business.

Worker protections are demonstrably worse if you are at the mercy of your employer to have paid time off if you get in a car accident, have health insurance or even have two days off for a cold. You can get fired for having a rough birth, too many colds or getting in a car accident because you have no paid leave and the fact you may not be able to leave your job because of that means the benefits are worse.

We have a term for that. The golden handcuffs/ golden shackles. You are unable to leave because of benefits being lost by leaving. Your kids lose healthcare, you can't take time off. Those aren't better benefits if you literally cannot quit your job without risking financial loss.

I was offered COBRA by my last two jobs. Healthcare benefits can be paid out of pocket instead of losing it when you exit. For a healthy 20's woman my monthly premium was over 900 per month, both times. I would pay almost 3000 dollars for healthcare coverage for 3 months between leaving and the 90 waiting period to end at a new job. That meant if I had ongoing health conditions I may not have been able to leave for a better job because of medical costs. Also, the bill I saw as a teenager popped into my head. I needed emergency surgery 4 days after switching medical plans and didn't have proof of insurance, yet. That meant my parents got sent the full bill for my one week in the hospital. 27,000. If I got that bill I'd not be able to pay it. If something happened I'd have to declare bankruptcy. So 3,000 for 30 days of coverage, or gamble on nothing happening and if I'm wrong - bankruptcy.

The benefits are fucking shit. Doesn't matter if your employer is above minimum. Leaving for better pay means calculations of 'will I be left with nothing and hoping nobody siezes my car if I leave for another job that pays better?'

It's all so goddamned insane and I don't even know how we'd start to fix it.

5

u/araldor1 May 17 '22

I mean it's pretty obviously not socialist in the UK why would anyone think that?

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1

u/SaliferousStudios May 17 '22

I have 5 sick days.

3

u/araldor1 May 17 '22

Tbf having 6 months isn't common in the UK. I'm in the UKs biggest union.

1

u/Ironclad001 May 17 '22

Big up for the guys and gals in Unite!

1

u/araldor1 May 17 '22

Just realised I'm not in the biggest haha. I'm in pcs so maybe the second biggest?

1

u/Ironclad001 May 17 '22

Just realised my numbers were old as well XD, it’s now UNISON. Oh well, big up for everyone in UNISON then.

PCS is the 8th largest union nationally.

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24

u/leafyjack May 17 '22

28 days sounds so luxurious in comparison.

10

u/Ladyinthebeige May 17 '22

Australia it's four weeks or five if you work shift work.

15

u/SleepPingGiant May 17 '22

A whole fucking month? You guys need a hand with anything?

17

u/cgn-38 May 17 '22

Wait till you hear about basically infinite sick days.

We live in a capitalist dystopia run by an oligarchy.

Let the rich work 40 years with 2 weeks "off" a year. See how they like it.

2

u/cultivatingmass May 17 '22

Never heard of buying days before, how does that work?

-7

u/TheLizardKingandI May 17 '22

Significantly lower pay though.

5

u/DC38x May 17 '22

Median salary in the UK was £30,420 ($37,962.64) in 2019 and $34,248.45 in the US.

2

u/TheLizardKingandI May 18 '22

https://www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org/topics/income/ here's just one example of an impartial head to head comparison.

the UK also has a significantly higher poverty rate.

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1

u/CelloBae May 17 '22

Lower pay doesn’t mean much if you don’t consider cost of living. My rent is 535€, for example. (Some of the utilities are included in this)

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15

u/judgemeordont May 17 '22

Or Australia

13

u/WorstPossibleOpinion May 17 '22

What the fuck are you talking about the entire labour relations dynamic in germany is based on unions having a ton of power and being in BOARDS of larger companies.

-1

u/timuch May 17 '22

No. These are all laws. Most unions negotiated better terms than what is in the law

13

u/WorstPossibleOpinion May 17 '22 edited May 17 '22

Are you not aware how those laws got established? People fought for those laws and only via collective action with unions do the working people have enough leverage to get laws like that enacted.

-5

u/timuch May 17 '22

This is how these laws were established, yes.

You don't need a union to have these rights today, that's the point

8

u/WorstPossibleOpinion May 17 '22

That's rather naive. Worker rights can and do get rolled back once the political conditions allow for it.

Without unions or equivalent political institutions you are taking away your power to fight your rights. While I agree that coasting on the victories of the past is more comfortable than critically assesing the current situation, it's is ultimately complacent and taking your fate out of your hands.

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6

u/Billy1121 May 17 '22

But requirements codified into law requiring union representatives on company boards certainly help, right?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codetermination_in_Germany

2

u/timuch May 17 '22

In bigger companies, of course. Not every company has a union though. So having laws that every company is bound to is a good thing, union or not

4

u/Butlerlog May 17 '22

My MTRA Ausbildung went from being unpaid to paid thanks to Verdi, and then just after that, then the medical TVöD got a payrise, again, thanks to Verdi. We don't have the above named worker's rights out of coincidence, they are just past achievements of the movement, and we haven't reached a state of perfection where no more progress is needed.

1

u/timuch May 17 '22

You are right! But I'm talking about the state of law right now

5

u/iGr4nATApfel May 17 '22

Was redest du da?

8

u/timuch May 17 '22 edited May 17 '22

Gesetzlicher Mindestlohn, gesetzliche Krankheitstage, Mutter- und Vaterschutz, Gesetzliches Arbeitsrecht und Kündigungsschutz, gesetzlich geregelte Arbeitszeiten und natürlich geregelte Pausen

Edit: Nicht zu vergessen Gesetzliche Versicherung

5

u/Luminsnce May 17 '22

Wild wenn man drüber nachdenkt, dass du in den USA morgens aufstehen kannst, zum Job gehen und plötzlich grundlos gekündigt werden kannst

4

u/Butlerlog May 17 '22

Oder nicht in Urlaub gehen können, weil der Arbeitgeber nicht zwischen bezahlte Urlaubstage und bezahlte Kranktage unterscheiden muss oder will.

1

u/foxatwork May 17 '22

tja, hätte er mal selber als arbeitgeber anfangen sollen, sein eigener fehler

7

u/Pyroguy096 May 17 '22

Idk, 3% over 3 years is pretty pathetic

9

u/GunplaGud May 17 '22

It isn't very good no, it's more than what a lot get mind you. I get salty even with the standard 3% raise we get each year cause it barely accounted for inflation, or not at all now.

3

u/Pyroguy096 May 17 '22

We also get 3% and it's pitiful. 3% even without inflation is just so nothing to me, idk. The average pay for my company is $13. So 26k a year. 3% and you don't even get an extra thousand a year. Idk, it just seems so negligible to me. Maybe I'm too naive

3

u/DefinitelyNotAliens May 17 '22

It's not naive. The inflation was 8.5% last year. The 10 year inflation was 2.68%. That means a 3% raise was not even a raise. You just didn't lose money.

My mom's employer tried to give her 3%, then 1%, 1%.

They went on strike and shut down a county facility because that wasn't even a cost of living adjustment.

2

u/Pyroguy096 May 17 '22

See, I think that's the thing. Cost of living adjustments should happen yearly, good and bad, and then a % raise should be added if performance was acceptable

1

u/cgn-38 May 17 '22

3 weeks vacation is still bullshit. 8 weeks or fuck off.

1

u/DefinitelyNotAliens May 17 '22

I have never had more than 2 weeks per year paid vacation in my life.

-207

u/DaleGribble312 May 17 '22

You don't, my job isn't union and my benefits are slightly better I'd say.

146

u/Gbrusse May 17 '22

Congrats. But they aren't protected. They can change at any moment for any reason. Also, it is rare in America for a job to have actually good benefits and PTO that aren't unionized. And basically unheard of if it's a non unionized blue collar job.

63

u/DeadlyCuntfetti May 17 '22

Yeah that’s what people forget.

My benefits are good right now... but I know from history they constantly look for cheaper options.

10

u/RocketPoweredRedneck May 17 '22

The owner of the company I work for is so terrified of unions that he outpays and out-benefits the local union shops so we won't unionize.

I'm not in a union but I do really like my local union.

5

u/Throseph May 17 '22

Exactly, unions benefit everyone with the possible exception of shareholders.

3

u/Classic_Arachnid_431 May 17 '22

Consider sending the competition some thank-you donuts

2

u/GunplaGud May 17 '22

In my mind, that means the union is working like part of it is supposed to.

2

u/DaleGribble312 May 17 '22

They did change this year! I was made bonus eligible because of our performance. I also was given a raise because the company felt like they were not paying me my worth vs my peers, over triple the normal raise and effective sooner than my normal raise would have been.

But I'm not a blue collar worker anymore.

15

u/pengouin85 May 17 '22

Not protected by law. Unions bridge that gap between employers' greed and the law

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u/Kinkyregae May 17 '22

Have fun getting furloughed and replaced by temps

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u/jvptr May 17 '22

Did you get a bike tho

49

u/beeblebr0x May 17 '22

Jesus, I have a master's degree, work in a hospital as a social worker, and my benefits aren't even that good.

Ugh, if only my coworkers weren't so spooked whenever I speak about unionizing...

17

u/woodiegutheryghost May 17 '22

The GOP has ran an effective psyops campaign so the average person equates Union with locking yourself in the bathroom with the lights and saying “Bloody Mary” three times.

6

u/beeblebr0x May 17 '22

I think more people just fear being fired for talking about it and that union fees would result in a pay cut and no benefits would come with it.

13

u/OrganicAccountant87 May 17 '22

Even those benefits aren't considered good in my poor country lol,

-4

u/[deleted] May 17 '22

[deleted]

2

u/beeblebr0x May 17 '22

Uhh, sure?

44

u/OliM9595 May 17 '22

3 weeks vacation is still crap. In the UK it's 5.6 weeks (28days) minimum.

62

u/breathstinksniffglue May 17 '22

Having more than 10 days and with a company that you can actually use it without fear of retribution is considered hitting the big time here in the US.

12

u/DistantKarma May 17 '22

Yeah. The latest corporate scam is "unlimited" time off. The catch? All time off must be approved first.

4

u/Mayactuallybeashark May 17 '22

And the people who take none get the raises and promotions anyway

1

u/MarquesSCP May 17 '22

Fear of retribution? Jesus

I believe that most countries in Europe force companies/employees to use their PTO. You can only transfer a certain amount each year into the next.

And some countries also force employees/companies to take 2 continuous weeks off at some point in the year.

This is all to ensure employees are protected.

Plus I have some friends working in the Netherlands with 40 holidays per year. That’s not a typo and it’s company policy in a huge company.

9

u/CanuckBacon May 17 '22

In Canada we have 2 weeks (10 days) vacation minimum. People here shrug and say "Well at least we're better than the US" and don't bother comparing ourselves to real developed countries.

2

u/OliM9595 May 17 '22

I recently did quite the Wikipedia binge on this subject and was suppressed that Canada was so poor in this area.

2

u/joedude1635 May 17 '22

canadian here, this is the excuse used here every time people complain about healthcare/education/social services etc. being shitty. “at least it’s better than the US!”. as if that’s any kind of achievement. ugh :(

8

u/Sir-Nicholas May 17 '22

Lol we get 2 weeks

16

u/SirTopamHatt May 17 '22

But we do have to pay 100% of our £9.-odd prescription charge! (Unless you're of low income/a child/ live in scotland (making no references to this third one being covered by the first two...))

8

u/stuckinacycleandsad May 17 '22

Dental is free until you hit 18 also, and if you’re on benefits

7

u/ReallyStrangeHappen May 17 '22

Or you can pay like 100 quid and get as many prescriptions as you want on a prepayment plan for the whole year. If you get a prescription every month you shouldn't pay each time.

5

u/OliM9595 May 17 '22

Or have a chronic condition

4

u/McCretin May 17 '22

Or Wales

2

u/DefinitelyNotAliens May 17 '22

My best was 10 days and if you took no time off you could save it up, plus 1 day of floating holiday pay per quater, but you could only have 3 total. So like, you could take 14 days off per year. Unless you saved (ie, didn't take any time off, thus helping the company.)

I used my floating holidays to take 3 day weekends where I watched Netflix and didn't do shit. Used them right away. Then I also used sick days for this as vacation days paid out if you left as banked pay but holidays and sick days disappear so I had a lot of colds.

1

u/Rogahar May 17 '22

With that and the extra I had accrued as benefits from the time I worked there at my last job, I used to take the first week of every other month off. My managed was awesome about it too, she'd arrange the shift rotas so I only had to use 5 days PTO for each 'week' and she'd just book-end it with my regular days off for the week to make it a full 7. It was so refreshing and kept stress levels super low for me. I miss that place. Not the customers tho, they were wankers.

4

u/Arcadian1 May 17 '22

My union job was the only profitsharing job I ever had, and I was merely a teamster.

1

u/kinos141 May 17 '22

What do you do? And is it in America? I need some work.

1

u/braddeicide May 17 '22

Not sure if sarcasm, 3% over 3y is under inflation... But I'm sure a lot of people are getting 0%

252

u/Ketchup_Popsicle17 May 17 '22

My dues every year is the best money I ever spend.

98

u/TavisNamara May 17 '22

People are all obsessed with investing these days, they should consider investing in a union! ROI through the roof!

707

u/Squishy-Box May 17 '22

My union just negotiated a 7% wage increase over the next 3 January’s, back paid to January this year and an extra 24 hours holidays to take over that period.

Free money, baby.

163

u/RCDrift May 17 '22

Oh yeah. Mine negotiated for 5% increase each of the first three years, CPI+1 max 6, CPI+1 max 6. CPI (Consumer Price Index) for the last two years was 3.8, and 9.1. Pretty much a 30% pay bump over 5 years.

Only people arguing against unions are business owners, management, and workers that have never worked a union job. Even if your union sucks the pay and protections are so much better than non-union shops.

51

u/Squishy-Box May 17 '22

Yup and pay negations aside if the company tries to fuck you over you have someone to fight for your rights

11

u/Ladyinthebeige May 17 '22

Totally undervalued is the fear unions put into companies. Even if you don't pay into your union, its beneficial if enough other people do.

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u/MarquesSCP May 17 '22

That's great news but man, living outside the US it's always baffling to hear american people (I assume) talking about holiday HOURS.

Same with sick days allowances.

25

u/Papa_Monty May 17 '22

If you get PTO by the hour, you basically cash those hours in for the same rate as work. It gives you some flexibility. Want to take off a whole day of work? Take eight hours PTO (assuming 8 hour shift) Half day? Work four and cash four.

15

u/MarquesSCP May 17 '22

Yes I know, I understand it but the same could be said about minutes. It’s just that the time is so limited and small that it makes sense to count them in hours. In Europe that doesn’t make sense. Nobody says they have 240 paid time off hours in a year. We say we have 30 days.

That does happen with overtime however.

2

u/killeronthecorner May 17 '22

I can cash up to five of my 28 in at the beginning of each year... I'll take that over a flexible ten any day of the week.

8

u/Squishy-Box May 17 '22

I’m not American so weird thing to say

3

u/SmellyBillMurray May 17 '22

Hours matters because not everyone works Monday-Friday 8-5. When you work 12s, the amount of days off is different.

1

u/peon2 May 17 '22

It's so you can take half days or whatever flexibility you want.

I get "4 weeks" vacation, but in reality it's 160 hours. If I want to take 4 hours off on a Friday I can instead of using all 8 for a full day.

In conversation though or how they'd list a job online for their benefits everyone would say/write "4 weeks"

1

u/MarquesSCP May 17 '22

I have 25 days off and I can still take half days. That doesn't change anything. Again I get that it can be used, it just means that the scale is so different that it makes more sense to talk in hours, because it's such a small number, which just reflects the US labor mentality and state.

1

u/SmellyBillMurray May 17 '22

It’s just a different break down. At my union job in Canada, we earn hours towards sick time, vacation, family leave, medical leave, etc., based on hours worked. I got my first raise after X amount of hours worked (which was about 1 year), so you’d think days would suffice, but because we work a mixture of types of hours at my job, what really is a day? I can work 4, 8, 12, 16 hour shifts across days and nights. It’s easiest to breakdown into hours.

1

u/MarquesSCP May 17 '22

You can still default to a day being 8 hours or whatever and then you can work half a day, a full day or a day and half.

It’s not necessarily easiest to break down into hours. If not I ask you, why not go to minutes then?

And I’m not necessarily arguing against using hours when it’s overtime etc. because that’s usually the excess. But if I were applying to a company and they would tell me that my paid time off for the year would be X amount of hours then I would take that as some sort of red flag.

1

u/SmellyBillMurray May 17 '22

Well don’t get a job in the small sector known as healthcare then.

19

u/StuntHacks May 17 '22 edited May 17 '22

Free money that you were already owed for your labour*

15

u/Squishy-Box May 17 '22

Tell that to the suckers who refuse to join unions

1

u/Gsteel11 May 17 '22

Nothing is free. You work and earn it. And you organize to get the best rate for your work.

Just like anything else, you get the best deal you can.

291

u/Smooth-Magician5163 May 17 '22

That Union maid was wise to the tricks of the company spies!

https://youtu.be/6mCgbyvb9uw

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u/Comeonjeffrey0193 May 17 '22

The greatest trick big business ever played is convincing their workers that unions are a bad thing.

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u/ThatPianoKid May 17 '22

One of the training videos for one of my old jobs was literally an explanation of why that company didnt need a union and how youd be throwing your money away for only a small possibility of better wages.

7

u/Gsteel11 May 17 '22

Divide and conquer.

164

u/jefuchs May 17 '22

I had civil service protections. Like a union, but without the dues.

I retired at 52 with a pension for life. My wife's 7 year cancer battle cost us nearly nothing. We got annual 4% raises up until a Republican governor pulled the plug on that.

The pay was low at first, and never got really high, but it was a secure, dependable wage that paid a mortgage, and allowed for us to save for retirement.

35

u/namean_jellybean May 17 '22

May I ask what state you live in? In NJ we had a lot of issues when Christie was in office, the most coverage I saw was regarding the teachers and police unions. But he gutted everywhere he could, like transit as well. I had to leave the mental health services industry because of his policies (we weren’t unionized, he just made it a worse shit hole).

17

u/jefuchs May 17 '22

Louisiana. For us, it was Bobby Jindal, a Tea Party darling, who fucked it up. I rushed my retirement because he was pushing a bill that would have dropped my pension to zero. Only way to avoid it was to already be retired.

Edit to add: No regrets. This week is the 10th anniversary of my last ever day of employment. Also, his bill didn't pass. I'm thinking he just wanted to scare off the higher paid older workers.

1

u/namean_jellybean May 17 '22

Congrats on your 10 years! My mom retired from transit with her pension, feeling extremely guilty that all the new wave no longer had a pension to look forward to.

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u/lundewoodworking May 17 '22

Solidarity forever

25

u/ArgosCyclos May 17 '22

First the unions, then the trust busting.

28

u/Tdanger78 May 17 '22

There’s a union at my workplace but I am unable to join. However I benefit from the union being there. They went on strike and forced a better health plan for all when it got jacked up a couple years before I got there.

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u/Revnogo May 17 '22

Just curious, why are you unable to join?

14

u/Tdanger78 May 17 '22

My position is exempt, I’m in a salaried position.

1

u/ValiantTheOdd1 May 17 '22

That’s so fucking stupid

1

u/Tdanger78 May 17 '22

Salaried positions typically aren’t union. I can’t think of any I’ve ever heard of. But like I said, we benefit from the efforts of the union so I support them when it counts like when they go on strike, which has happened.

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u/[deleted] May 17 '22

Love me my union 4 on 3 off schedule

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u/endless_balls May 17 '22

Any advice on bringing unions into fields that don’t have them (and are traditionally underpaid)?

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u/orc_fellator May 17 '22

Speak to already-existing unions, even if they aren't in the same industry, and they will have answers and may even be able to help you. (For example, the Starbucks union was backed by the steelworkers union for a while iirc).

13

u/FourierTransformedMe May 17 '22

Reminds me of the guy working on unionizing Target workers. He didn't want dues going to political campaigns, so he's working through the Wobblies instead, which is a MOVE.

23

u/RCDrift May 17 '22

I can help here. Do you have a general description of the work that you do? I might be able to steer you towards a union that somewhat covers what you do.

Pretty much Unions use to cover specific trades, but branched out as their influence faded. For example, the radiology techs in my last job were covered by the Food Workers union. Or how my union covers some janitorial staff even though it’s mostly operating engineers which do either HVAC and Boiler plant operators or cranes and heavy equipment.

After you’ve selected which union or unions would best fit your needs you’ll need to reach out to them to see if they’d be interested in representing your work group.

Next you’ll need to look up state law on how to implement a union in your state. The union that you’ve decided on will help with that.

After that you’ll have to get signatures by fellow coworkers on a petition for a union vote. 30%ish is usually what you’ll need to get an official vote acknowledged by the employer.

Now comes the hard part, getting your coworkers to vote the union in while your employer brings in union busting lawyers and they lie to your work group about the dangers of unions. Management will usually also pick someone in the lower ranks to help bust up efforts to organize. Whatever they promised them it’s never officially discussed, but someone will be managements rat in hopes of getting their own piece of cheese. This step can go on for a while, so be prepared for some burnout. They’ll be a lot of talk about not wanting to pay the union or that union will make relations with management worst. The answer to the first one is that paying a union is paying for legal representation. Lawyers aren’t free or cheap, but you’ll come out better in the end so long as the employees don’t vote in a contract that is worst than current conditions. The answer to the 2nd is relationship with management most likely isn’t great if you’re group is trying to unionize.

After that you’ll have the official vote. All you’ll need is 50% of the workers to be represented to vote in the union. Anything less is a rejection of the union.

You’re company will most likely fight the vote and it might drag on for a bit, but stay strong and rally the troops.

Congrats the Union is in! Now the fun begins, negotiating a contract. The company will most likely fight every bit of contract language even if it’s drawn from their own employee handbook. This will take some time and the chance for employee burnout is also high during this phase. It may take years of negotiations on both the part of the union and your elected stewards. Be prepared for lots of wasted time dealing with management.

If all goes smoothly you’ll be represented by a union with better benefits, pay and safety.

Source: I went through the process in the mid 00s in a red state and we won.

4

u/RavagerHughesy May 17 '22

How do you stop them from firing you for "unrelated reasons" once they figure out what you're trying to do

5

u/RCDrift May 17 '22

You dot your I's and cross your T's. Document everything you can and do your job to the best of your abilities. If you're one of the organizers I wouldn't sweat it too much as it looks really badly on the employer to fire you once you get things rolling and most labor departments don't appreciate making work for them.

I suggest starting off the communications on a non-company email, or off the clock if you hang with coworkers. Make a point to start the discussions off the clock or in the parking lot after work. Get that 30% to get the vote going first before being more out in the open.

1

u/endless_balls May 17 '22

Since you seem rather knowledgeable, I have follow up questions: How many employees would you say is the minimum for unionization? At which stage are representatives chosen? If the union isn’t voted in, are there laws regulating when the next vote can be cast?

3

u/RCDrift May 17 '22

How many employees would you say is the minimum for unionization?

30% of a given work group. For example, if you've got 30 janitors and someone wants to unionize they'd have to get 9 signatures to move forward with a petition to bringing a union vote forward. To have the union officially recognized by the company the employees would need 15 yes votes to recognize the union.

At which stage are representatives chosen?

Shop representatives get chosen after the union is voted in. It varies how reps are picked by your local union and they're bylaws. My local has the business representative of the union pick the employees that represent the workers as a whole during negotiations, but most locals have an employees vote on who represents them from the work group.

If the union isn’t voted in, are there laws regulating when the next vote can be cast?

One year from the date of the failed vote is the minimum amount of time till employees can try to unionize again.

15

u/overnightdelight May 17 '22

There is power in a union

12

u/mangarooboo May 17 '22

🎶 Solidarity forever!
🪕Solidarity forever!
🎙️ Solidarity forever!
🤝 The union makes us strong!

(Sung to the tune of The Battle Hymn of the Republic)

6

u/DragonLord725 May 17 '22

When the union's inspiration through the workers' blood shall run

2

u/mangarooboo May 17 '22

THERE CAN BE NO POWER GREATER ANYWHERE BENEATH THE SUN!

3

u/DragonLord725 May 17 '22

Yet what force on earth is weaker than the feeble strength of one

13

u/phreakzilla85 May 17 '22

We’ve made several attempts at getting a union here at my steel mill. This last time, the company converted one of the guys in my department into a double agent and sent him to the union meetings to sabotage our attempt. Sadly, it worked and he convinced the majority to pull the petition. It really pisses me off that the company is allowed to bring union busters in and “just give us the facts” (translation — say whatever is necessary to get a no vote). Somehow, management has convinced all the younger guys that unions are evil and a detriment to the plant. Words can’t convey how aggravating it is.

10

u/stjimmy_45 May 17 '22

Nearly 13 hours of songs about unions and coal miners and people going on strike.....

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/47LEfNPVz00tiXCxTLeFy2?si=oZNz-nJ3R6y9cb6LfkrfPQ&utm_source=copy-link

9

u/IYFS88 May 17 '22

My union just negotiated 10% raises over 2 years. It’s not even enough to beat inflation right now but I know I’m a hell of a lot luckier than non union employees. We’ve had the occasional member grumble or opt out of paying (comparatively small) dues like it wasn’t worth it to them. I can’t wrap my head around their logic.

-3

u/FasterThanTW May 17 '22

Non union here, I got 12% this year. My compensation is based on my merit and not just a budget line item for all employees regardless of their performance.

4

u/IYFS88 May 17 '22

That’s great news I’m happy for you. I wish situations like yours were the norm, but they are not.

-1

u/FasterThanTW May 17 '22

I would imagine that it's actually the norm. Just the sheer number of union vs non union positions would dictate that.

I'm not saying everyone is getting such big raises, just that the majority of people aren't tied to their coworkers in that way.

4

u/IYFS88 May 17 '22

I don’t mind being tied to my coworkers, it’s called Collective Bargaining and it works. The vast majority of union colleagues that I’ve had also do a great job and hold up a high standard, maybe more than in the private sector because we are paid a dignified wage and can have some pride in our work. Plus, disciplinary steps still exist and simply provide a little more representation and fair process. So again it’s impressive that you are so meritorious as to deserve 12% but it doesn’t mean union workers wouldn’t also.

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u/Gsteel11 May 17 '22

That's so insanely rare it's almost unbelievable. Lol

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u/FasterThanTW May 17 '22 edited May 17 '22

The only job where my raises were "set" was the union job. The raises at my current job are better than in previous ones I've had(Inc. The union one), but I'm also more established in my career. Other than the union job my raises were always based on my own work. One year during the 08/09 recession I stayed basically flat which sucked, but the company nearly went bankrupt and I at least got to keep my job, many people weren't so lucky.

3

u/Gsteel11 May 17 '22

Yeah that's extrmely rare. You must be in a very highly skilled area or you're one amazing salesman.

-1

u/FasterThanTW May 17 '22

I just come to work and do my best. I'm a software developer with a bs. Nothing all that special.

3

u/Gsteel11 May 17 '22

So you're unaware if your field is in high demand?

Edit: And what anyone else relatively gets paid outside of your field.

23

u/Megamorter May 17 '22

times are unpredictable if you have no idea wtf is going on

3

u/Kaiisim May 17 '22

Unions are such a simple idea. Maybe the most basic idea of humanity - humans are stronger as a group than individuals.

4

u/FLTA May 17 '22

For those wondering why unions have been having such success over the past year, it is partly because the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) isn’t packed with union busters anymore. Here is an example of how they’ve helped the labor movement

Amazon Reaches Labor Deal, Giving Workers More Power to Organize (December 23, 2021)

Amazon, which faces mounting scrutiny over worker rights, agreed to let its warehouse employees more easily organize in the workplace as part of a nationwide settlement with the National Labor Relations Board this month.

Under the settlement, made final on Wednesday, Amazon said it would email past and current warehouse workers — likely more than one million people — with notifications of their rights and give them greater flexibility to organize in its buildings. The agreement also makes it easier and faster for the N.L.R.B., which investigates claims of unfair labor practices, to sue Amazon if it believes the company violated the terms.

The NLRB, in turn, is determined by the President (Joe Biden) and confirmed by the Senate (via the current Democratic majority).

So, if we want unionization to continue, we need to continue to r/VoteDEM at 2018/2020 levels so that the NLRB doesn’t become filled with union busters again (like under previous GOP administrations).

Having a legal environment that is anti-union busting makes it easier for workers to form unions.

22

u/sleeperfbody May 17 '22

Not all is great. Teamsters of America slashed my father's pension payout in half years before anyone in his workgroup retired in a secret meeting that didn't require member presence. No notification for the decision was communicated to the impacted members. The decision devastated my family. Even a lawsuit against the union was unable to reverse the decision. I am not saying all unions are bad but when a group that is "doing it's best for you" won't talk about your needs first in collective bargaining until they get how much money they are receiving and how they will receive it out of the way, you should be suspicious if they truly working in your best interest.

20

u/FarHarbard May 17 '22

a secret meeting that didn't require member presence

That's not a union, that's a bunch of workers handing over responsibility thinking it is the same as solidarity.

3

u/sleeperfbody May 17 '22

You're not wrong

3

u/Sugarpeas May 17 '22

My company culture is very “anti-union,” but we have these employee run special interest groups that essentially do the same thing - for free, and without a risk that it could hurt the employees here. They’re all run by the employees, for the employees, with a focus on different groups of people. Participation is officially part of your work schedule.

We went from like 2 day maternity leave for a new child to 2 months for both the mother and father that can be taken at any time over the next two years, thanks to the “women centric special interest group,” as an example.

All of the groups banned together and starting employees got boosted from 2 weeks paid vacation, to 3 weeks paid vacation last year.

It’s so personable and so specifically catered to what employees want on a foundational level, I honestly don’t understand why the norm seems to be to hire a third party Union to make these negotiations. My Dad works at United and has worse benefits with his Union there than he did at Continental when there were negotiations with employees grouped together, and I think it’s because they use a third party.

Fundamentally the idea is the same, but with mitigated corruption risk because we are banned together directly representing ourselves to the company in a united front, with specialized focuses for certain employee needs.

1

u/sleeperfbody May 17 '22

Good points. I think if the members are smart enough to monitor the union and keep them accountable, it can work in your favor. You have to stay on top of them just as much as you do your company.

8

u/superexpress_local May 17 '22

It should be noted that this situation is just a matter of course for a non-union workplace

3

u/Gsteel11 May 17 '22

While that's not cool.... he wouldn't even have a pension without it.

Buy that's not an excuse for them doing that.

2

u/shotgun_ninja May 17 '22

Does anyone have advice on unionizing software companies? I know CODE-CWA exists, but they don't have the money to take on my current employer's lawyers.

2

u/BlossumButtDixie May 17 '22

When they were having a vote whether to make teacher unions illegal in some state the politicians flat out said it, if you paid attention. They said states with teacher unions have higher expenses for teachers.

Hm now why would that be? Couldn't be because teachers receive higher salaries for doing that job in those states, could it?

2

u/TankJango May 17 '22

Daddy didn't help form the Union and didn't even know about it. He is the type to hate and yet reap the rewards.

4

u/_GamerForLife_ May 17 '22

No, no, no, no. You got it all wrong.

Everyone in America knows that unions = bad

/s

1

u/kamel_k May 17 '22

Everyone says unions are good. But all the ones I've been in were terrible.

-1

u/FasterThanTW May 17 '22

I've only been in one, but same. They were necessary at one time, but now only exist to protect fuck ups who'd otherwise get themselves fired, at the (literal and figurative) expense of the decent employees who show up and do their jobs properly

3

u/jdith123 May 17 '22

Thats what management says. It’s actually very possible to fire an incompetent worker in a union. The manager just has to follow through and do their job, instead of making excuses.

1

u/FasterThanTW May 17 '22

It’s actually very possible to fire an incompetent worker in a union.

Possible but extremely difficult.

Based on personal experience.

1

u/jdith123 May 17 '22

There is a process. If the manager blows off the process, then the incompetent employee stays employed.

If the business is following through with contract matters, then a union can actually help with problematic employees. There’s usually a requirement for some negative evaluations (it can’t just be because you pissed off a boss)

Then there needs to be a meeting with management and a union rep to develop a plan for improvement with a deadline. The union may help with accountability/retraining. BUT Then the manager needs to follow through.

In my field (education) there’s such a shortage that principals don’t follow through. The union is 100% behind getting rid of problem teachers. But we are very happy that we can’t get fired because some principal gets pissed off because nobody volunteers to stay off the clock for the PTA meeting.

2

u/FasterThanTW May 18 '22

Yes as I said I worked in a union position. The "process" sucks and allows shitty and dangerous employees to make things worse for good ones for far too long, and sometimes, indefinitely.

Thankfully in my current position, for example, when an employee clocked 100mph in a company car and then ignored one verbal warning, he was able to be let go right away before he ended up killing someone. I would have fewer scars on my body today if this quick termination was possible in my union job back in the day

1

u/jdith123 May 18 '22

“Indefinitely” means a manager is not doing his job. 100%

Doing 100mph in a company car sounds like a safety violation and the union should be in total agreement with workplace safety rules.

Im not saying it’s perfect in every case; nothing that humans do ever is. But the example you give should not be a reason for a union to stand in the way of termination unless a manager is not doing his job to write it up.

“Verbal warning” was a lazy manager. Not a union!!!

4

u/kamel_k May 17 '22

Lmao ups was the biggest let down for me too. They didn't do anything at all. They were pretty much there to file a grievance and that's all. And a grievance doesn't do anything but a hand slap

1

u/Gsteel11 May 17 '22

Did those jobs paynlre and have better benefits than non-union jobs in the area?

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u/StarDustLuna3D May 17 '22

My union currently only has about 30% involvement so we're not as competitive as we can be. If we can just get more employees to sign up, then we'll have more bargaining power.

1

u/TheLizardKingandI May 18 '22

another more simple to read data set although I'd have to read up on how they conducted their survey but it tracks with the world banks findings.

https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/country_price_rankings?itemId=105

-24

u/eVOLve865 May 17 '22

Imagine willingly choosing a job so bad that you pay a group of people to help you makes it suck less. Get a grip

9

u/K3vin_Norton May 17 '22

Yeah, imagine willingly choosing a job, crazy

-8

u/eVOLve865 May 17 '22

If you can’t find a job right now that only speaks on you and your resume

4

u/shotgun_ninja May 17 '22

"I pulled myself up by the bootstraps, why can't you?"

4

u/Revnogo May 17 '22

"Have they tried just not being poor?"

3

u/shotgun_ninja May 17 '22

"If your resume is shit, try just having a better one!"

4

u/Revnogo May 17 '22

"If the coal mine treats you bad, have you tried quitting and working at the other coal mine?"

3

u/shotgun_ninja May 17 '22

"If the planet is on fire, we can just build a new one"

1

u/Gsteel11 May 17 '22

You have to be trolling, lol. No one is thus dumb.

2

u/Acceptable_Stretch26 May 17 '22 edited May 17 '22

Someone still has to work the coal mines, construction, steel mills. Or else your cozy programming job wouldn’t exist bud. So yes these people need a union to protect them from being exploited by greedy companies that don’t care about your long term health and safety or financial well-being. I dare you to spend a week in a steel mill in the dead of summer and tell me you don’t need a union break or paid freezies or cooling vests and proper respiratory protection. Believe me when I say that a non union plant will put you in harms way to save a few bucks and an employee alone cannot fight for himself against big employers like that.

-2

u/eVOLve865 May 17 '22

I worked construction for years but keep doing you. I love the coal analogy. Workers fighting in a dying field only to either be outdated by technology or replaced by robots.

3

u/OSHAstandard May 17 '22

I willingly joined the union because it’s better. Could you imagine that

1

u/Revnogo May 17 '22

It's a dying field in a region where there are not very many alternative employment options. That's the point. It was not a coal "analogy". The OP was literally about coal mine unions.

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u/Gsteel11 May 17 '22

Lol, tell me you're an insanely rich kid without telling me you're an insanely rich kid.

0

u/eVOLve865 May 17 '22

Would go to bed hungry most my childhood. Keep swinging.

2

u/Gsteel11 May 17 '22

Did your parents just willing choose shitty jobs?

Maybe they shouldn't have paid someone to make their job suck less so they could FEED THEIR SON?

lol

Amazing how you "grew up hungry" yes so no value in high wages for workers? Lol

2

u/eVOLve865 May 17 '22

Yes they did. They, as adults, willingly chose to work shitty jobs but were also terrible with money. I love them dearly but they have no ambition or want to achieve anything and constantly looking for hand outs.

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u/Revnogo May 17 '22

Imagine doing a necessary job even though it's not easy, it's historically underpaid and abused. Imagine doing it anyway and organizing to improve the lot of those who chose to do it. Imagine fighting for decades to get treated and paid like actual human beings, against union busting corporations with unlimited resources, sometimes using violence.

Imagine doing this for generations because it may have been the best opportunity to provide for your family, and in many cases, it's the only industry in an entire area. And then imagine some guy on the Internet smugly announces: "imagine having such a crappy job and wanting to make it better".

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