Anti-union bosses will drive you nauseous with scare tactics that usually begin: “When the Union comes in….”
Over and over, they will say you don’t need a union.
However, there’s one thing they won’t say: you don’t need to negotiate a contract.
That’s because bosses use contracts every day of their lives. They absolutely believe in contracts, because they know it’s the only real way they can protect themselves and their businesses. Even CEO’s of major companies have contracts to protect them. Professional athletes have contracts, entertainers have contracts, small business owners have contracts: why shouldn’t workers also have contracts?
Right now you have no right to negotiate anything. With a contract, you have all kinds of rights and protections on paper. All of a sudden the boss has to negotiate everything…no wonder he fights so hard against you!
The contract is the soul of what a good Union provides workers. It has five major components: wage increases, benefit improvements, defined working conditions, legal protection against unfair discipline or termination, and increased time off.
Employees define their own contract goals, and elect Negotiating Committee members to work with Local 445 professionals to bargain with management.
There is no initiation fee or other hidden costs, and low monthly dues are not collected until the first month after the employees vote by secret ballot to approve the contract. Union dues are only two-and-a-half hours’ pay per month. For example, if you make $20 per hour, you pay $50 per month.
Anti-union bosses will fill employees’ head with all kinds of untruths about forming a union with Local 445.
They’ll say “The Union comes in” with all kinds of new rules for the workplace. But the truth is, the Union will only fight to change whatever the workers want to change.
“They’ll say “Negotiations start from scratch,” and workers could lose existing benefits. But the truth is, bargaining starts from the wages and benefits in place at the time the employees vote to join our Union, and the only way anything can change is if the workers vote to change it. This protection is enforced by the federal National Labor Relations Board, which has many such protections in place to safeguard employees seeking a contract (see NLRB.gov).
They’ll say “The Union will force you to strike.” But the only way a strike can take place is if the workers vote by an overwhelming margin to approve one. According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, 99 percent of all contract negotiations are settled with out a strike. Local 445 has only had one strike in the past seven years, and that was a successful one conducted by United Building Supplies Teamsters in Red Hook recently (see article inside this issue).
They’ll say “Union are corrupt.” However, in any human organization active on God’s green earth, you can find corruption. This includes law firms, service organizations, businesses, sports clubs, political parties and even religious groups. The vast majority of Unions are led by good people who only want to better the lives of the members who have elected them.
Anti-union bosses use the “U” word so often, you almost wish that instead of calling worker organizations “unions” our early labor leaders had called them “Employee Contract Associations.” Then the emphasis would be where it really belongs!
If you are interested in forming a Union with Teamsters Local 445, call our Director of Organizing Jerry Ebert on his 24-hour hotline: 845-857-4768.