What is a Union?
A union is an organized group of workers who come together to make decisions about the conditions of their work.
Through union membership, workers can impact wages, work hours, benefits, workplace health and safety, and other work-related issues. Under U.S. law, workers of all ages have the right to join a union.
Having support from the union to ensure fair treatment in the workplace is one of the key reasons people join. Many of the benefits and protections workers enjoy today came about as a result of union efforts. These include the minimum wage, social security payments, an eight hour day and weekends, overtime pay, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Occupational Safety and Health Act, which requires employers to meet safety standards for their workers. For more information about unions, go to the AFL-CIO website or visit the UC Berkeley Labor Center website.
How to Join a Union…
Better Pay, Better Benefits, and a Voice on the Job
Working people from all walks of life join together in unions to gain a voice at work. This includes laborers, highly skilled professionals and technical workers, even professional athletes, actors and actresses. Learn more about the union difference from the AFL-CIO.
As a union member, you have a strong collective voice for negotiating with employers about pay, benefits, working conditions, and how their jobs get done. Having that say and collective voice gives you a union advantage.
If you do not have a union at your job, find out more about how to form one. Today, more people are taking steps to form unions than at any time in recent history. You can be one of them!
- The first step to joining a union is to locate your individual union and contact it for union facts and guidance on organizing
- Get in touch with a union organizer.
- If for some reason you can’t join a union, but want to support your fellow working Americans and fight for good jobs and a just economy, learn how to join Working America.
Remember: Under U.S. law, workers of all ages have the right to join a union.