Forming a Union at your workplace is the most effective way to have a real voice in your working conditions, wages, and benefits and to improve the standard of living for you and your family.
Union workers earn 30 percent more money than non-union workers, and 44 percent more when you include the total compensation of such as healthcare and other benefits.
The union advantage is clear. Organizing more workers strengthens our union and leads to better contracts for our members. Our communities benefit from good jobs with generous compensation. United we are a powerful voice for justice in the workplace. Together we can maintain the high standards that allow workers to prosper across many different industries.
You Are the Union:
In the United Food and Commercial Workers, you are the union. You come together with your coworkers to organize, you nominate and elect union officers, and you determine the working conditions and issues that you want to see bargained with your employer. As a member of the UFCW, you will be part of a larger movement that improves the lives of working men and women in the workplace and in our communities.
The more workers that join together in a workplace, the greater their collective voice will be heard by management. Without a union you have little say over your wages, benefits and working conditions. Without a contract, those things can be changed at your employer’s discretion. With a union, you enjoy numerous wages and benefits guaranteed in a union contract, such as:
1. Negotiated wages, health care and retirement plans
2. Defined work schedules
3. Grievance procedures
4. Reasonable workload requirements
5. Protection from unfair treatment and favoritism
6. Job security and seniority rights
7. And a voice on the job to bargain for other benefits
How Do I Get Started?
The first step is to form a committee among the workers with representatives from each department and shift. The committee’s job is to attend meetings and educate themselves about the Union. Then they can educate their co-workers, and help dispel false information spread by management.
Next, employees must sign cards stating they want to be represented by UFCW. After a majority of workers have signed up, the Union can ask the employer to recognize the Union, or file a petition for an election with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
When the Union files for an election, then the employees have a chance to vote for Union representation in a secret ballot election. If the Union wins a majority of votes then the Union can begin the process of negotiating a collective bargaining agreement, also known as a contract.
For more information on organizing in your workplace, call (208) 367-9305
Frequently Asked Questions
Why should workers organize?
The reasons vary from person to person, but the most common reason is a basic desire to get a decent wage, health and retirement benefits, and fair treatment at work. Everyone wants more security in their lives and a job in a union workplace can help.
Are there protections for workers who want a union?
Backed by Federal Courts, the NLRB has the power to stop interfering with employees’ rights, to provide back pay, and to reverse any action taken against workers for union activity.
What type of activities can workers legally do if they want a union?
Who decides what’s proposed for your contract?
The employees decide. First, you fill out bargaining surveys, meet with a Union staff negotiator to discuss the contract and decide what you want to propose. Next, you elect a negotiating committee of your co-workers to represent you in bargaining alongside the Union staff negotiator. Then, your committee meets with management to bargain the contract.
Local 368A represents approximately 1,200 workers, covered by over 32 contracts. Each one is unique to the place of business it covers. The union negotiates the whole agreement – wages, pensions, medical benefits, and everything else – to best fit the needs of the members who work under it. The result is a written contract that meets your needs and guarantees improvements to your wages, benefits, and working conditions
Is there an initiation fee? How much is membership?
There is no initiation fee for newly-organized members. Local 368A members determine their dues structure and vote on it. Membership is based on wage rates and hours worked. No one pays any dues until you negotiate, review, and vote for your contract. Before paying for any membership, you’ll see the results, and you’ll find what 1,200 Local 368A union employees already know – the benefits of union representation.
What are the workplaces where UFCW 368A members work?
Why UFCW 368A?
We are a democratic union – meaning our leaders are elected by the members and almost all the Executive Board are members who work in the varied worksites throughout our region – be they grocery, food processing or some other industry. We are a diverse and progressive local union dedicated to advancing the rights and living standards of workers.
What about strikes? Who decides if there is going to be a strike?
Will being Union provide better job security than not?
What is the main difference in having a union contract?
With a union, you’ll have a written and enforceable contract which spells out and guarantees your rights; a real grievance procedure; job security; guaranteed wage rates; and a timeline for pay increases and benefits. It’s written down in black and white – a legally binding contract that cannot be changed at management’s whim.