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Pros and cons of being a part of a union?

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Justin’s Answer

I have been a union plumber for 15 years and my father a union plumber for 35 years. As a union member, you have rights. You collectively as a union vote on wages, fringe benefits and laws that the union contractor have to abide by. There is a negotiation every time the contract you previously collectively voted on expires, between the union members of that local union and the contractors associated within that union. You typically have higher training skills or opportunities through a skilled labor union. I can only speak on my experiences with my union so other unions may vary. Our local, is a part of a larger umbrella. The united association is the larger umbrella and each state has its own local union in counties where local unions operate within. Within that local union are members who collectively vote on what rights they would like to see the contractor abide by. It varies from state to state and local to local depending on size and location of each local union. There is what they call a master labor agreement which is typically the baseline for each local and then each local adds their own amendments. Like a little government in each state for workers. Now dealing with large local unions like SF local 38, they operate within certain jurisdictions that are determined from local to local. A union contractor in Oakland has to notify the union in SF if they are to be working within the jurisdiction of SF which are a different set of rules and pay and the Oakland contractor has to abide by the SF union labor laws and pay if they are to perform work within that other union’s jurisdiction. It’s to protect the workers within the locals. Like I said, this is just my experience within my occupation. I love being union because I feel like I have rights that are protected against greedy employers. Plus the benefits are huge and will take care of you for life as long as you pay your dues. And there are monthly dues to be a member.
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Howard’s Answer

There was a time when Unions were necessary to protect workers. At that time workers were being taken advantage of. It was necessary and helpful for the workers. In today's economy business still wants to protect their bottom line as they should. However many have realized that paying a competitive wage and offering benefits is a good thing. It creates competition for the best workers. Unions have power in numbers. But the union itself can be corrupted by that power. I think it depends on which union you are joining, how it is run, and how much it benefits the worker. If you join a union you gain some benefits. But you also give up some of your rights. You have to follow the union's rules. As in life, there are always costs to every benefit. Some are financial and some are personal. You pay financially to the union and you pay with concessions to follow the group/ rules. In some cases, you do not have a choice. If it is a union house you have to join and follow the rules to get the job you want at that company. Some States are right to work States. Few companies have unions but some do. There the state sides with the company. You have to do your research into the company, the administrators, the unions, and the laws for your specific career and job.
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Amalya’s Answer

It depends on the type of union you are joining.
Pros: Being a part of a union gives a sense of community, collaboration, and mutual understanding. It will help to find collective solutions to different problems at societal and individual levels.
Cons: Since everyone is different, there is a high chance of disagreements and potential arguments. Also, as a member of a union, you should adapt your opinion to the collective ideas and persuasions which can be challenging.
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