My name is Bob Chianelli and I am a proud 40 year member of LiUNA Local 1001.
The more and more I talk to members of our union the more and more I hear “the union is trying to scare us into paying dues…..nothing is gonna happen if we stop paying”.
Another common response has been “I’ll keep the dues money in my pocket and if something happens to me then I will use it for myself.”
Honestly, some really good points.
First about the money in your pocket theory, they are absolutely correct but does anyone know what an arbitration cost to fight a basic contract violation? Would you be surprised to know that in most cases over $10,000. So, if you get passed up for overtime be prepared to go to the bank and get $10,000 to get your day of overtime. Transfers out of seniority order, again go to the bank and withdraw another $10,000. Vacation pics, promotions, work rules, I think you get the picture. You alone won’t be able to fight the fight, time after time year after year no matter what you think you are saving by not paying Union dues.
Some say “I don’t use the Union”, and once again they are right, they don’t use it because they don’t have to, it’s automatic. The Union is there every day protecting things like wages, healthcare, jurisdiction and all the other perks that most of us have come to take for granted.
I often ask members “when was the last time you had to ask the City for a raise, or an improvement in health care or paid vacation time or paid parental leave?” And of course you know their answer “well…..never”.
So if there was no Union because everyone stopped paying dues and the City said we are not paying that salary any longer, and your healthcare is too expensive, and why should we pay you for vacation days, you are going to do what? Go to your bank and withdraw the money you saved to make up the difference in pay, the cost of your healthcare, the days you miss being paid because you want to take your family on vacation? I’m not an accountant but i can pretty much tell you that not being in the Union hasn’t saved you nearly enough money to pay for all of that.
Now back to the initial statement, “the Union is trying to scare you…..” yes we are, because if that’s what it takes to save your pay, your healthcare, your paid vacation, your safety, your seniority and the standard of living you and your family have now, and will continue to have well into retirement, then yes I am, yes I am.
Union today, Union tomorrow, Union forever, Feel the Power!