Union members work together to negotiate and enforce a contract with management that guarantees the things you care about like decent raises, affordable health care, job security, and a stable schedule. Union members typically enjoy things like:
— Higher Wages: $191 per week than their nonunion counterparts.
— Better Benefits: More likely to have employer-provided pensions and health insurance.
— Safer Workplaces: Safe working conditions that prevent death, illness and injury.
— A Voice on the Job: Better workplaces and working conditions without the fear of retaliation.
What is Collective Bargaining?
Collective bargaining is the process in which you and your coworkers come together through your unions and negotiate contracts with your 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. Negotiating together is a way to solve workplace problems.
Common things that are collectively bargained include things like:
Leave (vacation, parental, sick)
Workplace health and safety standards
Project Labor Agreements
Collective bargaining is a way to solve workplace problems. It is also the best means for raising wages in America. Indeed, through collective bargaining, working people in unions have higher wages, better benefits and safer workplaces.
Freedom on the Job
In the United States, some three-quarters of private-sector workers and two-thirds of public employees have the right to collective bargaining. This right came to U.S. workers through a series of laws. The Railway Labor Act granted collective bargaining to railroad workers in 1926 and now covers many transportation workers, such as those in airlines. In 1935, the National Labor Relations Act clarified the bargaining rights of most other private-sector workers and established collective bargaining as the “policy of the United States.”
The right to collective bargaining also is recognized by international human rights conventions.
The freedom to form and join a union is core to the U.N. Universal Declaration on Human Rights and is an “enabling” right—a fundamental right that ensures the ability to protect other rights.
Every year, millions of America’s workers negotiate or renegotiate their bargained contracts. However, some employers seek to undercut existing bargaining relationships and roll back many hard-won contract terms and conditions. Unions continue to fight for the intrinsic rights of working people and restore the balance of economic power in our country through collective bargaining agreements.