What Should Every Union Member Know?
Unions have worked in the favor of many working people; however, unions are far from perfect. With the agonizing history of the labor movement and the fantastic gains it has earned for workers across the country, it may seem disloyal to discuss the shortcomings of unions; however, this does not weaken the positives. Here is a short list of five pros and cons of unions.
Five Pros And Cons Of Unions
The majority, if not all, unionized worker qualify for extended health and medical benefits. This could mean hundreds of thousands of dollars over the length of a career. Moreover, a person’s job is more secure if they have to take extended leave due to illness.
Being part of a union, a person cannot be fired for just any reason. It has to be very serious, and even then, the employee can legally file a grievance.
A person does not have to be afraid of speaking up if they think something is not right. The union should be there for advice and support.
This may differ amongst various unions, but seniority can be a crucial factor in deciding who gets promoted, or perhaps who keeps their job if there is a layoff. With unions, employers are typically required to dismiss the less senior staff first, eradicating favoritism on the job.
Union workers are usually better paid. For example, in 2010 the weekly fulltime pay for unionized wage and salaried employees was $917, for non-union workers it was $717, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
There is plenty of abuse in unions as people are aware of the loopholes and know they cannot truly be fired unless they do something extremely unsuitable.
Rewards Don’t Always Go To Those Who Deserve It
Even if an employee puts in minimum effort, it is almost impossible to get fired. A person will receive their pay grade levels whether they work diligently or not.
Being Held Back
Due to seniority in unions, the best person for the job will be passed over because they do not have enough seniority, thereby stunting a person’s career growth in the meantime.
Union Dues and Fees
Union dues can start from a couple of hundred dollars to several hundred dollars annually. Some unions demand a one-time joining fee. Dues help unions pay for administrative costs, officials’ salaries, and more.
Loss of Independence
Employees lose their autonomy, which means if they disagree with the union’s decisions, they are still bound by them.