Safety – A Unions Most Important Responsibility
There is nothing we do as a Union that is more important than safety.
No matter what we grieve or negotiate, whether it’s wages, holidays, sick leave, pension, or medical insurance, the most important aspect of your job is that you go home every day the same way you came to work. While we can negotiate or re-negotiate all of your terms and conditions of employment, we cannot re-negotiate a lost finger, eye, or heaven forbid, a fatality.
Since their inception, Unions have fought for safer conditions in the workplace. That work continues today as employers constantly talk about safety, but often put production ahead of safety. In fairness, there are employers that share our passion for safety, and choose work with us to minimize or eliminate workplace hazards.
We must continue to be vigilant every day in the workplace and look out not only for ourselves, but also for our brothers and sisters. Rest assured, Local 420 will continue the tradition set down by those that came before us to make the workplace safer today than it was yesterday.
Training and Education for the future
Local 420 is committed to developing and providing training to our members.
Local 420 conducts training classes on a regular basis. These classes are held at our union office and are available to members and the public. Additionally, the union sponsors the Power Engineering program at Milwaukee Area Technical College-South Campus where a full diploma program is offered. Power Engineering is a field that requires skills in a variety of fields including boiler operation, equipment repair, industrial maintenance, HVAC, electrical, plumbing, energy conservation and other areas.
The simple phrase, collective bargaining, covers a wide variety of subjects and involves hundreds of thousands of union members in the process.
Representatives of labor and management negotiate over wages and benefits, hours and working conditions. The settlement reached is spelled out in a written document or contract. The contract normally contains a grievance procedure to settle disputes. It is the job of the union to enforce the contract on behalf of the members.
It has not been easy to establish collective bargaining as a permanent part of American life. The efforts of unions to establish the concept of collective bargaining are a little known, but very important part of American history, involving great sacrifice and bitter struggle. Historically, management took the position that because they owned the means of production, they had the sole right to determine the conditions of employment. Collective bargaining forms the cornerstone of industrial democracy.
Less Unions – Weaker America
The cost to employees to remain non-union continues to climb. Union workers are now making about 30% more than their non-union counterparts. Also, rapidly increasing health insurance costs are much easier to pass on to non-union workers who lack collective bargaining rights. The best example of non-union dues comes when you look at all the compensation, benefits, promotion criteria, job protection, hours and other provisions that are guaranteed by a union contract. Non-union workers are employees-at-will who have no guarantees and can be fired without cause. Employers often try to avoid the issue of non-union dues by claiming that the Union cannot guarantee you anything in negotiations. The truth is, without a union contract, nothing you currently have is guaranteed! In fact, because you are non-union, the boss could lower your pay or fire you tomorrow without having to show just cause. That is what we mean when we say – UNION YES.