The Benefits of Unions for Workers

Unions are organizations that make it possible to negotiate employment terms for group rather than on an individual basis. Throughout the history of unions in the United States, union efforts have done much to establish employment standards benefitting more than just those who belong to these organizations. In today’s world, do unions still benefit workers? Here are a few of the advantages that union members continue to enjoy.

More Competitive Wages

In comparison to their non-union counterparts, union workers consistently enjoy higher wages. This translates into a higher amount of net income that can be spent on goods and services. It also allows the worker more of an opportunity to allocate a portion of those more competitive wages into savings or retirement accounts. In this sense, the union’s involvement in negotiating higher wages enhances the financial stability of the workers.

Comprehensive Benefit Packages

Benefit packages include important elements like health coverage, vacation time, pension plans, and personal time. They also often include sick benefits that can be used if the worker has to be out of work for a period of time. As with wages, the packages secured by unions are typically more comprehensive that non-union workers are able to negotiate for themselves. The result is that the union worker has benefits which ensure enjoying a reasonable standard of living is easier to accomplish.

Safety in the Workplace

A primary concern of many unions is the safety of their workers. During negotiations with employers, union personnel are likely to pay close attention to the conditions which employees face on the job daily. The goal is to minimize the risk of injury, something that benefits both the employee and the employer in the long run. By improving safety measures within the working environment, employees are less likely to be injured. That in turn makes it possible to avoid missing time at work and helps keep productivity higher.

Collective Bargaining

Collective bargaining is the term often used to describe how a union and an employer come to terms on what type of wages, safety measures, and benefits the employees will enjoy. Rather than attempting to negotiate with individuals, the employer negotiates employment terms with a union representative. In the best-case scenario, the two parties work in good faith to arrive at terms which ensure the employees have reasonable benefits and that employers have access to people who must possess the training and experience needed to do the job effectively.

There are more benefits associated with unions, both for employees and employers. Contact a local union associated with a specific industry. You will quickly find that the efforts made on behalf of unionized workers does pay off in a big way.