Why join the Union?

Why should I spend my hard-earned money to join the Union?

God gave you ONE day off per week (traditionally.)

UNIONS gave you TWO. Presenting… (drumroll)…THE WEEKEND!

Also brought to you by unions:
the 40-hour work week,
the 8 hour day,
overtime pay,
child labor laws,
OSHA standards,
minimum wages… the list goes on.

So many of the protections that have become national labor law have been brought about by unions. And now that they are law, people take them for granted, but corporate America did not give you these things. Unions did. The history of unions and labor law is much neglected in our schools. It is very interesting, though not pretty, and I encourage you to educate yourself.

Just consider, if our union, APWU, were to fold up tomorrow, how would that affect you? How long do you think the Postal Service would continue to follow the contract? Would you be guaranteed 40 hours? Would you still have 2 days off per week? Would you be forced to work overtime? Suppose you want the overtime but the supervisor always gives it to their favorites. There is no rotation and seniority doesn’t count. The same goes for holidays. People who want the hours may not get it while those who don’t want it may be forced to work. Ok, so sometimes these things happen even WITH the union, but you do have the option to file a grievance and receive compensation. Without the union there would be no grievance process.

Consider the proposed changes to operations that we have been told are coming. Many of you have layoff protection under the contract. You can be forced to bid another position, even change crafts or relocate, but you would still have a job and retain all of your benefits. Without the union, where would you be?

Many people are willing to sit back and enjoy the benefits provided by the union without becoming a member and paying dues. Perhaps they feel these things are owed to them. However, those with a conscience will realize that they should be contributing to the organization that secures their future and many of the comforts of their job. The union needs members in order to do its work. In fact, the union has a much better bargaining position with a 95% membership than with 60% or 75%. The union needs our dues to stay in operation. The work of grievances and contract negotiations costs money. There are many full-time union employees at the national level who must be paid.

Material benefits to YOU of joining the union are:

  • Availability of the APWU health insurance plan
  • Availability of supplemental insurance plans through the union’s Voluntary Benefits program
  • National and local level scholarship programs for member’s children
  • Union Plus Discounts and Services including Mortgage program
  • Automatic membership in our affiliate, the Accident Benefit Association
  • Access to AFL-CIO Credit Union
  • An Accidental Death and Dismemberment policy from American Income Life brought to you by your Local #667

If you are not already a member, please consider joining APWU today. Ask any local officer for a membership form,
Or join here: Form 1187 (Authorization for Deduction of Dues)

In Unity: Civil Rights and the Labor Movement

Labor History: APWU Helped Usher in the End of Apartheid in South Africa

The History of International Working Women’s Day

Looking Back on Labor History: Memphis Sanitation Workers’ Strike & the Battle of the Bulk