A Union Means Better Wages, Better Jobs

Interested in Joining a Union?

Contact our Organizing Department at (413) 732-6209 or email workers@ufcw1459.com

By organizing a union, workers can attain significant improvements in the terms and conditions of their employment. Union workers enjoy much stronger legal protections on the job as well as better wages and benefits.  Below are some facts about the difference a union makes.

Better Wages

Union workers make on average 21% more in wages than non-union workers. A no-brainer, huh?

Health Insurance, Pension Plans, and Retirement

Many Local 1459 contracts have language ensuring affordable health insurance. The employer pays all or most of the expense.  And Local 1459 has negotiated pension plans to ensure a secure retirement for members.  The chart below shows the difference a union makes in providing these basic protections.

Job Security and Due Process

All Local 1459 contracts contain language that prevents employers from unjustly and arbitrarily terminating, suspending and/or reprimanding a worker without having just cause for their action. That means a manager or boss cannot discipline on a whim, they have to have a reason.

All Local 1459 contracts contain a formal grievance and arbitration procedure to provide workers with due process at the shop floor level.  If a worker feels they have been disciplined unfairly, Local 1459 contracts give workers the right to file an official complaint and, if needed, have their case presented to an independent arbitrator to decide on the merits.

Your Legal Rights to Organize and Join a Union

Federal Law Protects Your Right to Form a Union

It is your right to support, form and/or advocate a union at your workplace. Your rights to organize are set forth in Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act: “Employees shall have the right to self-organization, to form, join, or assist labor organizations, to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing, and to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection . . .”

This means that you have the legal right to help organize, to join, and to support a union of your own choosing. You have the right to ask your coworkers to support a union or sign authorization cards on non-work times and in non-work areas. This means that before you begin work, after you are done working, and on your breaks and lunches, you can talk to your coworkers about a union. You can talk to them in the parking lots, cafeteria, lounge, bathrooms, and any other areas where you are not serving a customer. The law protects your right to go to union meetings, and refuse to answer management’s questions about the union.

Activities protected during non-work times and in non-work areas include:

• filling out an Authorization Card
• getting others to fill out authorization cards
• attending union meetings
• wearing union buttons
• passing out union literature
• talking about the union to other employees

Federal Law States What Your Employers Cannot Do

It is illegal for management to discriminate against or discharge an employee because of his/her union involvement. The law also says that if you choose UFCW 1459 as your bargaining representative, management must bargain with the union.