Union members have the benefit of negotiating with their
employer as a group. This basic right gives them much more power than if they
were to negotiate individually. On average, nonunion workers have median weekly
earnings that are 80% of earnings for workers who are union members. Ninety-two
percent of union workers have job-related health coverage versus 68 percent for
nonunion workers. Union workers also have a great advantage over nonunion
workers in securing guaranteed pensions.
Through their CBAs and the grievance and arbitration
processes, unions help to protect their employees from unjust dismissal.
Therefore, most union employees cannot be fired without “just cause,” unlike
many nonunion employees who are considered “at-will” employees and can be fired
at any time and for almost any reason.
When considering whether to join the union, individuals
should remember that the union was formed and ratified by their fellow
employees based upon the principle that everyone who benefits from the
collective bargaining process should share in its costs. Simply stated, the
well‑being of all bargaining unit employees is improved immeasurably when
the union obtains higher wages, better health care and retirement benefits,
fairness in the discipline system, and the many other improvements realized in
contract negotiations. But it would be difficult to provide such effective
representation at the bargaining table without the influence earned through the
“nongermane” political and ideological activities of the trade union movement.
It is our political work that has brought a more worker‑friendly U.S.
Senate and House of Representatives receptive to honest dialogue about such
matters as health care reform and the need for changes in our labor laws. And
it is our legislative involvement that has prompted the likes of the Family
Medical Leave Act and many other important bills both at the local level as
well as nationally.
Any individual thinking of not joining the union also needs
to keep in mind the considerable benefits of union membership that will be
surrendered. As a nonmember, you relinquish many valuable privileges, including
the right to attend and participate in union meetings; the right to run in
local union elections and to otherwise nominate and vote for any candidates for
union office; the right to participate in the formation of ATU bargaining demands;
the right to vote on contract ratification questions; and the right to enjoy
the many benefits of the Union Privilege Benefits Program, which offers
low-interest credit cards, legal and travel services, prescription drug cards,
and life insurance.
It remains our opinion that all of
our organizing and all the legislative, litigation, and similar activities
undertaken by the ATU are essential to improving the working conditions of all
the employees we represent. Still, as a democratic and law-abiding union, we
acknowledge and stand fully prepared to honor an individual’s freedom to choose
not to be a member of the ATU and to not support these essential union
Union Dues are calculated as 2.6 your hourly wage or the
minimum set by the international (whichever is higher).
This year the current minimum dues set by the International are
Your monthly dues are collected by a dues
deduction process at half the amount per pay check.
The minimum dues are adjusted by the international annually.
Dues are calculated by the union and not the WTA
Dues are evaluated by the financial secretary three times a
year and adjusted by step raises
Union Initiation Fees are 200.00, Not to worry it is not all
taken at once.
Initiation Fees are payable in increments of 25.00 per
paycheck until completed.
Should you choose to participate in the New Member Class,
half of your Initiation Fees are reimbursed back to you from the union.