Local 880 is committed to bringing the benefits of union membership to as many workers as possible. This is organizing as it is traditionally understood. We dedicate a portion of our resources to bringing the protections and benefits of a union contract to new members. There are several reasons for this, and we hope these reasons will motivate you to lend a hand in this difficult but satisfying task.
One of the main reasons we work so hard at organizing is because the old saying “there is strength in numbers” is absolutely true. If one employee walks in and asks for a raise, it is easy for the boss to say no. If all of the employees walk in and ask for a raise, that is an entirely different dynamic. Our size gives us the power we need to aggressively represent you in the workplace and in the community, whether you work for the largest or the smallest employer.
When a high percentage of workers in an industry belong to a union, then the union has more leverage at the bargaining table and can ask for a greater share of the profits. As a rising tide lifts all boats, it is easier to increase worker wages and benefits if all employers have essentially the same labor costs. When a sizeable number of employers in an industry are non-union and pay lower wages and benefits, they enjoy a labor cost advantage that can drag down union wages and benefits. Organizing helps protect and preserve your wages and benefits. Non-union stores place them at risk.
We at Local 880 also organize in a non-traditional way. We organize by educating the general public to be knowledgeable consumers who recognize and understand that our communities need good jobs and good wages in order to grow and thrive. We encourage the public to avoid low wage and benefit employers who shift health care costs for their employees onto the taxpay-ers, who pay low wages, who provide skinny benefits, and who drag down the standard of living for all employees in an industry and in a community.
No one can tell the story about why it pays to organize better than the members of Local 880 who reap the rewards of membership. No one can educate the public better than a union member who sees first-hand the harm that non-union employers do to the American standard of living. No one can set a better example than you by refusing to shop in non-union stores wherever and whenever possible, and by encouraging your family and friends to do the same.
To learn even more about how you can help Local 880 to organize, contact your Steward or your Union Representative.
ASK WHAT YOU CAN DO
The most important thing to know about Local 880 is that YOU are the union. We are only as strong, effective and powerful as the members who participate in its operation and activities.
You can best exercise your power by staying informed and active in your union. Here are some easy steps to make your union a more effective vehicle for advancing your interests and those of your co-workers. These steps include but are not limited to:
- Read your contract and keep it handy – Your contract defines your rights and benefits at work and represents Local 880’s activity focus.
- Keep your contact information up to date – Did you move, change your name, take a leave or change employers? If you leave your job for any reason including medical leaves, college leaves or quit your job, call the union. Just telling your employer does not mean the union knows. Let us know important information continues to get to you.
- Ask questions – If you are unclear about what your contract says, or how Local 880 is addressing an issue, go to your union representative or an elected leader and ask them. Find their names here http://www.ufcwlocal880.org/leadership/
- Submit ideas for contract proposals – When contracts come up for renegotiation you have an opportunity to submit proposals to be considered for inclusion. New ideas can come from anywhere. You can start here firstname.lastname@example.org
- Attend meetings –If you cannot make a meeting, make sure to know who from your department or employer is going and will share the meeting information with you.
- Read The Voice, Local 880’s newsletter, and any mail you receive – Please do not throw out union mail before checking the contents. It will help you stay informed.
- Participate in union activities – These are varied but include returning surveys, attending general meetings, supporting fellow unions when appropriate, and contributing to union-sponsored charitable giving.
- Be politically informed and involved – Changes in public policy and laws can affect your working conditions, opportunities and limit union activities. Maintaining a relationship with local and national legislators by e-mails and phone calls will help keep your beliefs and values top of mind. Local 880 will make it easy by providing contact information here or in The Voice. Be sure to register and vote.