The days of industry workers coming together for their rights may not be over yet. Nonunion autoworkers are taking a hard look at the United Auto Workers (UAW) union and deciding whether they should join.
As the third largest private sector union, the UAW has been on the forefront of a number of worker rights issues. They’ve fought for better pay, improved benefits, and a safer workplace for autoworkers. In recent years, they’ve been pushing for stronger workplace protections and safeguards. More and more nonunion autoworkers are tuning into this movement, and taking notice of the union’s success at winning better working conditions.
Nonunion autoworkers are now considering their own workplace concerns, and whether it makes sense to become UAW members. In addition to pushing for collective bargaining power to gain worker rights, joining the union also gives autoworkers access to legal representation for disputes and grievances that can’t be handled internally.
However, the major decision to join the UAW carries a lot of risk. Nonunion autoworkers must put their trust and faith into the union, while believing their dues will be worth the cost. Questions abound about the power of the union, and the force against which they will find themselves pitted against in negotiating contracts.
Many individuals entrance into union-sponsored retirement plans may be a concern, too. Autoworkers should research what types of benefits the union offers, and weigh any assessment fees or penalties for repaying the fees.
Ultimately, joining the union is a highly personal decision. Nonunion autoworkers should come to their own conclusion about whether the union will benefit them. And if the answer is yes, they will be the latest cohort to join the fight for better working conditions.