Union Membership Means a Voice on the Job

IAM members are able to bargain with their employers over wages, benefits and other working conditions. That translates to strength and a voice on the job. A typical collective bargaining agreement  secures such things as raises, vacations and holidays; life insurance, medical, dental and vision coverage; a pension plan; sick leave; maternity leave; shift differentials; transfer and promotion rights, and agreed-upon methods of settling differences between the members and management. As an IAM member, you and your co-workers vote to approve or reject any proposed agreement.

Union Membership Means Improved Wages and Benefits

  • Fully 79 percent of all union members are participating in employer-provided health care plans, compared to just 49 percent of non-union workers.
  • Union members pay 18 percent less in health care deductibles and work for employers who cover 11.1 percent more in health care costs for single-worker coverage (15.6 percent more for family coverage).
  • Union workers are 24.4 percent more likely to receive health insurance coverage in their retirement.
  • Union members have median weekly earnings roughly $200 higher than non-union workers.
  • Roughly 83 percent of workers in unions have paid sick leave compared with 62 percent of nonunion workers.

* Sources: The U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics; Economic Policy Institute

Union Membership Means a Secure Retirement

As important as Social Security is, it only provides a guaranteed minimum income. It is a survival plan, not a retirement plan. That’s why the IAM strives to negotiate the best possible retirement plans for our members. Union members are roughly 54 percent more likely to be covered by a pension plan, according to the Economic Policy Institute. Even for Union workplaces that fall under a defined-contribution plan such as a 401(k), the ability to bargain gives the negotiating committee the opportunity to secure improved terms within the retirement savings plan. A union contract paves the way for a secure retirement.

Union Membership Means Job Security

Seniority is the most basic form of job security. When negotiating a contract, the first order of business is to “lock in” years of service.

  • Union contracts may also provide protection from subcontracting by limiting the employer’s right to subcontract or outsource work.
  • Union contracts can protect from layoff by including language that provides extra benefits to laid-off members, including tuition money, retraining vouchers, severance pay, extended health insurance and supplemental unemployment benefits.
  • Every union contract provides a vital form of job security: a system of “due process” that management must follow. Management must present evidence to justify disciplinary actions, including terminations, and union workers have their own representatives to present evidence and testimony on their behalf.