Why Join Unifor?

Why Join Unifor?

There are many good reasons. Here are just a few:

  • Part of a team: Workers band together in a union to bargain collectively for better working conditions. Collective bargaining ends with a collective agreement – a legally binding contract between the employer and employees. The collective agreement outlines working conditions, including benefits, wages, hours of work and much more.
  • Job security: If you are a union member, and you’re fired without just cause, your union can get your job back. If you’re not unionized and you’re fired for no good reason, there is nothing in the law that forces your employer to hire you back. You could file a wrongful dismissal suit, but the only remedy is money.
  • Higher pay: Jobs covered by a union collective agreement pay an average of 32% more than jobs that are not. Unionized Workers Are Better Off: “It has long been known that unionized employees make more than non-union workers, a fact confirmed by this new earnings data from the Labour Force Survey”, says Statistics Canada in its summer 1998 Labour Force Update.


Unionized Workers Are Better Off: “It has long been known that unionized employees make more than non-union workers, a fact confirmed by this new earnings data from the Labour Force Survey”, says Statistics Canada in its summer 1998 Labour Force Update.

 Average hourly wage rate ($)

Union Employees

Non-Union Employees

 All employees

18.57

14.04

 Full-time employees

18.84

15.18

 Part-time employees

16.74

9.76

 Non-wage benefits Percentage of employees with:

 Pension/group RRSP

82.8

32.9

 Supplemental health care

83.7

44.4

 Dental care

77.0

41.9

 Paid sick leave

77.2

44.7

 Paid vacation leave

84.1

65.3

Average hourly wage of employees by age, Canada, 1997

Age

15 – 24

25 – 54

55+

 Total

$8.92

$16.88

$17.10

 Union coverage

$11.43

$18.98

$19.30

 No union coverage

$8.55

$15.60

$15.75

Source: Labour Force Survey: “The average employee covered by a collective agreement made about $19 per hour in 1997, 32% higher than the average of those without coverage”, according to the Update.

Better working conditions: From hours of work to health and safety to harassment protection, unionized workers have a better work environment. They have somewhere to turn if they need help.

Grievance procedure: Your collective agreement will spell out the steps to take if you have a grievance against your employer, or against a supervisor or co-worker. Unionized workers also have access to legal representation if necessary.

Families benefit: Union benefits improve the quality of life, not just for the employee, but for his or her family as well. For example, health and dental plans that cover spouses and children are commonplace in unionized workplaces, as is leave for family-related responsibilities.

Communities benefit: Healthy people earning decent wages lead to healthy and financially-stable communities.

Everybody benefits: Pensions, health and safety regulations, maternity leave — these are among a few of the benefits that didn’t exist before unions pushed for them. Today, they are standard in many workplaces. Even basic minimum labour rights are the result of 200 years of effort by people in the labour movement.

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