A union is a group of workers who have come together to promote their common interests. Many people in many ways have expressed this basic understanding over the years. Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes put it this way in a 1937 Supreme Court Decision:
“Long ago we stated the reason for labor organizations. We said they were organized out of the necessities of the situation; that a single employee was helpless in dealing with the employer…that the union was essential to give laborers the opportunity to deal on an equal [basis] with their employer.”
The employees’ role in an unionized workplace is unique. With a union, those who work for a particular employer are no longer just a group of individuals; they are a collective unit, as well. The union has the right-and the legal duty-to speak with one voice on behalf of all the employees’ in what is called the “collective bargaining unit”; thus, the employer loses the advantage of dealing with each employee individually. In a non-union setting, workers count on only their own strength; in a union setting, workers still have their own strength, plus the strength of the group.
The heart and soul of this union is our members. Local 764 encourages our members to be involved in Union matters in as many ways as they can. Attend the membership meetings; serve on contract committees, read the newsletter and other communiqués from the Union to keep yourself informed. Other ways to keep involved are to participate in the annual Toy Drive, Quilt Raffle, and summer member party. Keep in touch with the Business Representatives and union officers, and call them when you have questions on the job. Read your contract.