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#4758983 - 05/16/18 05:08 PM Anybody have experience in unions?
Walmill Offline


Registered: 02/06/18
Posts: 54
Loc: FLORIDA
AFGE to be more precise. And I'm not at all looking at the politics or big picture aspects of it so please trying to keep this topic tame.
Afge was at our orientation today talking about their benefits and promising$100 to anybody who joined on the spot. Everybody's hands came up at that point. I like to think of myself as a rational person that likes to look into things before committing. One of the reps answerd my question that the $100 was still available if I signed up at a later date.
Some of their benefits sound nice but are very vague and also most aren't things I use regularly. If I'm paying $80 a month I'm not actually saving if I get 200 dollars off something I only buy once a year.
Also ive read what seems to indicate that unions must "protect" employees even if they are not paying members. Is that true?
Basically I'm wondering if $20 every two weeks or roughly $1k a year is worth it financially and if nonmembers are also "protected"
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#4759006 - 05/16/18 05:31 PM Re: Anybody have experience in unions? [Re: Walmill]
wallyuwl Offline


Registered: 06/02/09
Posts: 1791
Loc: Wisconsin
The thing to find out is if Florida is a "fair share" state. In those states, the unions at unionized workplaces can force the employees to pay a "fair share" (usually 75% or so of the normal rate to join the union) even if they do not join the union. The union's, and some politician's, perspective is that unions negotiate for the workplace so if you are an employee there you benefit from their presence. The legality of "fair share" practices are currently under review by the US Supreme Court, which should rule in June.

Unions are typically not required to represent employees who are not members of the union, but union laws are largely a state law issue. IMO, if you get into a dispute with your employer that is what private attorneys are for. Especially in public unions, I've witnessed first hand where the union rep is on the side of the government administrators and not the employee(s) who was wronged.

I don't like the $100 incentive... seems desperate by the union and short-sighted by anyone who joins simply for the "free" $100. If a person wants to join for the perceived benefits of membership they should based on the merits of that membership, not because of a $100 bill being waved in front of their face.

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#4759016 - 05/16/18 05:40 PM Re: Anybody have experience in unions? [Re: Walmill]
bruckus Offline


Registered: 02/27/10
Posts: 309
Loc: Minnesota
I have been a long time member from a couple different unions over the last 30+ years. As a member i wish that it was not voluntary
at a company. Clarify- If a union is in a company then all of the workers they represent should be in the union. I have seen a few non-members coming to the union when they have issues. chances are you don't get the same representation than if you were a paying member. If you get in deep trouble, get fired and try to get your job back, most likely the paying members will not vote to arbitrate your issue. They have to represent you but at what level. You have no voting rights so you will get only what everyone else decides. [censored] yes you should join. Why would you want to freeload off others when your dues are used to fight for better wages, benefits and work rules. Do whats right, join, get involved and try to work with the company to better it for everyone. Chances are you want to work there for the pay and benefits, someone fought for that. If you don't want to be a part of it go work somewhere else.

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#4759026 - 05/16/18 05:49 PM Re: Anybody have experience in unions? [Re: Walmill]
eljefino Offline


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 32886
Loc: ME
I'm in an optional-union organization. A co-worker and I both got gypped in the same way-- an honest misunderstanding. He is in and I am not. We both wrote statements. Mine was a well-thought out persuasive essay listing the facts and was devoid of emotion. His may as well have been written in crayon: He printed it in 26 pt type so it would fill the page, and the writing style was "Me mad".

I submitted my statement to his union head as I felt that more voices would help our common cause. Neither of us have been made right.

For $62 a month I'd have representation (which so far hasn't passed my test run) and I'd get to vote on the contracts I benefit under either way.

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#4759032 - 05/16/18 05:54 PM Re: Anybody have experience in unions? [Re: bruckus]
Inspecktor Offline


Registered: 03/16/14
Posts: 655
Loc: Twin Cities MN USA
Originally Posted By: bruckus
I have been a long time member from a couple different unions over the last 30+ years. As a member i wish that it was not voluntary
at a company. Clarify- If a union is in a company then all of the workers they represent should be in the union. I have seen a few non-members coming to the union when they have issues. chances are you don't get the same representation than if you were a paying member. If you get in deep trouble, get fired and try to get your job back, most likely the paying members will not vote to arbitrate your issue. They have to represent you but at what level. You have no voting rights so you will get only what everyone else decides. [censored] yes you should join. Why would you want to freeload off others when your dues are used to fight for better wages, benefits and work rules. Do whats right, join, get involved and try to work with the company to better it for everyone. Chances are you want to work there for the pay and benefits, someone fought for that. If you don't want to be a part of it go work somewhere else.
^ This
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#4759042 - 05/16/18 06:06 PM Re: Anybody have experience in unions? [Re: Walmill]
goodtimes Offline


Registered: 12/08/10
Posts: 2980
Loc: california
I was in a union when younger, then when promoted to exempt at the same place, a famous university research lab. The union attacked me so badly when I asked an employee to cut down on the personal phone calls, it was unbelievable. So I know both sides. Usually you have to be a member for a union to represent you in a dispute. I'm still a big fan of unions, they fought for the benefits we all take for granted today. My dad used to work 12 hours per day, 6 days a week back before unions. No time off or sick leave or vacation or retirement benefits, you had nothing. That's why he was a big union supporter in the early days of them. The problem is personalities appear and destroy what the union really is about, like they did to me. The man was still fired.

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#4759047 - 05/16/18 06:10 PM Re: Anybody have experience in unions? [Re: Walmill]
ZZman Offline


Registered: 03/17/08
Posts: 5903
Loc: Michigan
30 years experience in a union.

If the employer treats employees well there is no need for a union. If not then the power of a union can help.

Not only can pay be better and raises actually occur on a regular basis, but other benefits can be negotiated as well. These can be paid days of, sick time, Healthcare etc.

Those dues seem pretty steep to me.

Some laws have been passed that say unions have to represent non paying members as well. Why? I consider that free loading. If most people decide not to pay you have no union. Unions need money to represent employees in union matters and to lobby for better laws.
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#4759050 - 05/16/18 06:12 PM Re: Anybody have experience in unions? [Re: Walmill]
KJSmith Offline


Registered: 08/31/15
Posts: 286
Loc: TX
I am a non union employee in a union job.
19 yrs on the job. I have never paid and never had a issue.

Most of the guys I work with have limited options outside the company.
They are stuck and should be members.

If I lost my job, I would likely be hired by one of our contractors and make $7 - $10 more an hour.
I have my points and am retirement eligible. I chose to ride out my time here.


That being said, the company will treat you like a union employee either way.
The union should represent you correctly.
If not, you have the ability to sue the union.... a member does not.

At the end of the day, if you are doing your job and have a good relationship with your boss, all is well.

My biggest issue with unionism is that all employees in the same job are paid the same.... no matter their particular skill level.

There are people that spend most of their time using the union to avoid work.
Ruins it for everyone, union employee or non union employee.
The company will not single out the individual, they will hold it against the whole group.


If you are in a "Right to Work" state you cannot be compelled to join.

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#4759072 - 05/16/18 06:30 PM Re: Anybody have experience in unions? [Re: Walmill]
fdcg27 Offline


Registered: 09/25/09
Posts: 15911
Loc: OH
Florida is notorious for its low pay levels for government employees.
A union would fix this for both the bargaining unit employees and the exempts, who'd likely get whatever the bargaining unit people get.
An organized workforce is an empowered workforce.
I was personally in the bargaining unit here for about 3.5 years. As an exempt, I've since freeloaded on what the union gains for all employees.
I've seen cases of employees being fired without good cause and the union has made management give them their jobs back with back pay.
Never happen to you or you'll just sue the employer?
Good luck with that.
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#4759104 - 05/16/18 06:58 PM Re: Anybody have experience in unions? [Re: Walmill]
BrocLuno Offline


Registered: 09/06/15
Posts: 5691
Loc: Kalifornia Kollective
Yeah, a one person law suite - good luck ...

Was a Union member and a shop steward at one point. But promotions and training moved me to a "guild" as an engineer. As soon as employees have licenses to maintain and such, the Union becomes less important. Each employee has to make their own mind up ...

If it's a break even on the cost, you should prolly join. If it's a hit to be in the Union , then you'll have to do some soul searching. Unions are not a bad thing for labor who have very little leverage otherwise smile
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#4759143 - 05/16/18 07:37 PM Re: Anybody have experience in unions? [Re: Walmill]
Mr Nice Offline


Registered: 09/12/04
Posts: 21517
Loc: Orlando, FL
The company I work for has unions particularly in manufacturing, non manufacturing side has no unions but same benefits.

30+ years non union and never saw the company wrong an employee or treat someone unfairly.

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#4759177 - 05/16/18 07:59 PM Re: Anybody have experience in unions? [Re: Walmill]
sloinker Offline


Registered: 08/13/17
Posts: 153
Loc: WY
I think all you need to do is to look at Right to Work states and see what the general wage/benefits packages are versus non Right to Work states. Look at states like Alabama and compare them to say, Washington state. There is a reason that manufacturing has moved to Right to Work states. Union rules and tax incentives. These companies do have wages on par with union sites but only to discourage organizing.The rest of the general workforce gets paid insultingly poor. As far as firing someone that isn't doing their job? If management properly documents transgressions and uses a progressive discipline model, I have never seen a member get their job back. I have seen non-union employees sent packing without recourse if a manager gets a hard on for them. Weigh your options and make your choice. The $100 sign up award is a new one I haven't heard about. Sounds illegal. May want to contact the NLRB.

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#4759206 - 05/16/18 08:32 PM Re: Anybody have experience in unions? [Re: Walmill]
02SE Offline


Registered: 12/30/05
Posts: 2808
Loc: The Canyons
I worked for a Union business one summer after Highschool, and saw lots of malingering and corruption. Those impressions have continued with lots of (BUT NOT ALL) Union workers I've dealt with over the years.

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#4759253 - 05/16/18 09:29 PM Re: Anybody have experience in unions? [Re: bruckus]
PW01 Offline


Registered: 09/10/06
Posts: 796
Loc: Charlestown Indiana
Originally Posted By: bruckus
I have been a long time member from a couple different unions over the last 30+ years. As a member i wish that it was not voluntary
at a company. Clarify- If a union is in a company then all of the workers they represent should be in the union. I have seen a few non-members coming to the union when they have issues. chances are you don't get the same representation than if you were a paying member. If you get in deep trouble, get fired and try to get your job back, most likely the paying members will not vote to arbitrate your issue. They have to represent you but at what level. You have no voting rights so you will get only what everyone else decides. [censored] yes you should join. Why would you want to freeload off others when your dues are used to fight for better wages, benefits and work rules. Do whats right, join, get involved and try to work with the company to better it for everyone. Chances are you want to work there for the pay and benefits, someone fought for that. If you don't want to be a part of it go work somewhere else.


Great post. Iím a union steward and Iíll represent non members, but I fight for and work for members.
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#4759277 - 05/16/18 09:52 PM Re: Anybody have experience in unions? [Re: Walmill]
ZeeOSix Offline


Registered: 07/22/10
Posts: 18203
Loc: PNW
Unions are good if both the union and company have logical goals that can benefit each other. When one or the other becomes too controlling then it's not a good situation.

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