We are building a new organizing committee. Contact us about training and volunteering your time. Help grow the union!
Increased membership means more power for all of us. We have the Union Experience. We can talk to "not yet union workers" and tell them about our contract - tell them about the difference being union has made in our lives.
Union members earn better wages and benefits than workers who aren’t union members. On average, union workers’ wages are 30 percent higher than their nonunion counterparts. While only 14 percent of nonunion workers have guaranteed pensions, fully 68 percent of union workers do. More than 97 percent of union workers have jobs that provide health insurance benefits, but only 85 percent of nonunion workers do. Unions help employers create a more stable, productive workforce—where workers have a say in improving their jobs.
In order to bargain effectively for our members, win good contracts, and win pro-worker political gains, we need power. We all see, for example, the impact of declining union membership on our overall ability to make progress for our members. Besides overall numbers, the union density in industries we represent also has a big impact on how much power we have as workers. At an earlier point in history, the “telephone company” was a monopoly. By organizing there, we had a “monopoly” on telephone company labor and a lot of power. But communications are now diversified. There’s a number of carriers, and we all recognize the need to organize Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, etc. But the work is also diversified, spread out, between major carriers and the subcontractors they use. No company does all its work in-house at this point. To the extent that we can negotiate contract language that prevents subcontracting, that helps preserve our power – but that is difficult.
When vendors are unorganized, the gap between their wages, benefits and working conditions - and ours - is significant. That’s a major attraction for an employer. As time goes on, if we do not organize those vendors, more and more work will shift to these low-cost companies, and our bargaining power will continue to erode. The only way to maintain power in the communications industry is to organize workers in that industry across the board. That benefits AT&T/Cingular workers because there is less of a gap between them and the vendors. It also benefits the subcontractor workers because they move closer to parity with AT&T/Cingular workers’ wages, benefits and working conditions.
If we do not organize the vendors, both AT&T/Cingular and the vendor employers win – by dividing the communications workforce, driving us to the lowest bargaining level instead of the highest, and reaping the profits.
Believe in the future! Make it happen.