Joining a Union means many things. It is a fraternity of associates and partnerships sharing an interest in the same trade or industry. It is helping and protecting one another and caring for the work we do and the people we work with. It is not always about ourselves but it is also what we can contribute back to society and to our community.
Being in a Union brings benefits to its members and their families. On top of a decent standard of living with wages and benefits, members are able to enjoy the social activities and friendships that are contributed at Union meetings and on the job. On the job Union members have rights and a voice to be treated equal with fairness, dignity and respect.
Our good wages and benefits put Union members in a different category than non-union workers. If our family needs prescriptions, dental or other medical needs outside of OHIP we have that cost covered. In the event of an unfortunate tragedy our families receive life insurance, and if we become disabled we have some income. When we retire we will have a pension plan to supplement Canada Pension and still maintain a decent style of living after a career of work.
Non-union workers pay a price by not being in a Union!
Non-union workers are paying a price to work in their environment. In most cases they work in an underground economy with straight pay cheques and no deductions. They are vulnerable to government scrutiny on taxes and other regulatory issues. In most cases non union workers pay a price…they are exploited and work in conditions without any knowledge or compliance to safety and they are forced to work long hours and no overtime premium. In many cases their employers are breaking the law through the Employment Standards Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Act and they do not realize it. Most non union workers are not fully trained and are accustomed to not knowing what it is like to be in an organized environment.
Workers that work non-union do not know what it is like to be in a Union. There is a threat by their employers that “….if a union comes into my business I will be forced to close down…” This could not be further from the truth.
The IUPAT have over 600 employers in Ontario signatory to collective bargaining agreements. There is no documented proof a contractor has gone out of business because of being unionized. Employers usually change their business practices and enter a larger market place with additional opportunities for expanded business and larger profits. There is always a fear “the Union is going to run my business…” once again, this is a myth. The Union does not subscribe to being business operators….we are a Union that services and represents workers.
The only fear an employer should have about a Union is when the Union does not organize and does nothing to assist in the gain of market share.
The only fear an employee should have about a Union is that the Union does not properly represent the member and does not assist the employer in gaining market share.
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