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What are the advantages of belonging to a union?

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Quick Answer

Advantages of belonging to a union include higher wages than non-union workers, greater access to benefits and an increase in job security. These advantages are due to the power of collective bargaining unions enjoy because of the amount of members they bring to a negotiating table.

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Full Answer

Wages tend to rise when there is a union bargaining for the wage amount instead of each individual doing so alone. In 2010, union members enjoyed a weekly wage that was $200 more than non-union workers. Wages are also more uniform among union workers, with members on the same level receiving the same pay as other workers at that level in union shops.

Benefits tend to be greater among union members than non-union workers. Collective bargaining by unions increases access to benefits, such as health insurance and employer-provided retirement plans.

Job security is higher among union members, with most unions requiring that firings take place only if just cause can be proven. Non-union workers are typically hired on an at-will basis, which means they can be fired for any reason or no reason at all. Union workers often enjoy a seniority system that takes into account time in the union when cutbacks are required. Generally, union agreements include Last-Hired, First-Fired clauses to protect long-standing members.

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