What is a union?

Work Connects Us All.

  • Respect on the job? Check.
  • Fairness? Check.
  • Training opportunities? Check.
  • A voice at work? Check.

Unions are about a simple proposition: By joining together, working women and men gain strength in numbers so they can have a voice at work about what they care about. They negotiate a contract with their employer for things like a fair and safe workplace, better wages, a secure retirement and family-friendly policies such as paid sick leave and scheduling hours. They have a voice in how their jobs get done, creating a more stable, productive workforce that provides better services and products. Always adapting to the challenges of our nation’s evolving workforce, unions are meeting the needs of workers in today’s flexible and nontraditional work environments. Because no matter what type of job workers are in, by building power in unions, they can speak out for fairness for all working people in their communities and create better standards and a strong middle class across the country.

Median-Weekly-Earnings-of-Full-Time-Wage-and-Salary-Workers-2012

 

How to Form a Union:

Working people from all walks of life join together in unions to obtain a voice at work. Union members have a say about pay, benefits, working conditions and how their jobs get done.

If you do not have a union at your job, find out more about how to form one. Today, more people are taking the step to form unions on the job than at any time in recent history. You can be one of them!

Collective Bargaining: 

Collective bargaining is the process in which working people, through their unions, negotiate contracts with their employers to determine their terms of employment, including pay, benefits, hours, leave, job health and safety policies, ways to balance work and family and more. Collective bargaining is a way to solve workplace problems.

After the rights of public employees to collectively bargain for a middle-class life came under attack in 2010, working people in all kinds of jobs as well as students, community supporters, faith leaders and others united to defend this basic right.

The United States has long lagged behind other industrialized nations in collective bargaining coverage for public- and private-sector workers. Yet the right to collectively bargain is essential so that working men and women have the strength to improve their living standards, provide for their families and build a strong middle class

More information on collective bargaining and the labor movement can be found at aflcio.org.

Get involved with the Michigan AFL-CIO

Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and bring economic justice to the workplace - and you can too.