Top Ten Reasons to Join a Union

Top Ten Reasons to Unionize.

Why unionize?

While workers in Ontario have minimum rights under the Employment Standards Act (ESA), a union collective agreement builds on those rights, adds additional rights and, just  as important, gives you a means to enforce them. From salary and benefits to protection against bad bosses, there are numerous ways organizing a union can make life better for you and your co-workers. To learn more, contact a Unifor 87-M organizing representative.

How unions improve working life:

1. Better working conditions: If you dread work, feel exploited, over-worked or undervalued, there are solutions. Union members work together to bargain better working conditions. We provide checks and balances to employers’ constant desire to raise profits, often denying employees a proper work/life balance in the process.

2. Money:  By bargaining together, unionized employees tend to receive better wages than non-union workers. Prosperous employees make communities healthier and stronger by sharing the wealth. The Union employs professional negotiators to get you annual increases so you don’t have to go begging to the boss as an individual.

3. Benefits: Decent benefits should be part of every job. If that’s not the case now at your workplace, forming a union will ensure it’s part of your future. By negotiating together for contracts, workers get benefits that take care of both their needs and the needs of their families.

4. Did we mention money?: Retirement might seem way off in the future but it’s never too early to start saving money. And that RRSP plan that the Union helped you negotiate will come in handy when you are looking to buy a home. Unifor also lobbies provincial and federal governments for better Canada Pension Plan benefits for all workers, not just those with a collective agreement, so everyone has more money in their pockets in their retirement years. Retirement plans and pensions are complicated. You need someone on your side to show the way.

5. Your boss is the worst: We help ensure that job expectations are clear and reasonable. When everyone knows the rules, and you have an expert representative in your corner, employees can be shielded from bad bosses. And when the boss doesn’t follow the rules, a grievance process gives you the mechanism you need to fix the problem without having to hire a lawyer.

6. Your boss is the best: Today’s companies are constantly shifting directions, which means the boss you love today could be replaced by the boss from hell tomorrow. A good union contract will offer protection from favouritism and provide a just-cause clause in your contract — meaning you can’t lose your job just because your new manager doesn’t like the look of you.

7. You’ll learn so much: Unifor and Local 87-M offer a ton of learning opportunities for members. Training can cover anything from conflict resolution to grievance handling; labour law to human rights; communications to health and safety.

8. Fair layoff practices: If layoffs occur, unions ensure that severance packages are fair and priority is given to length of service when determining who keeps their job. This provides job security for more senior employees, who can also opt to leave with a severance package to save a more junior employee’s job.

9. The airing of grievances: Unions offer a listening ear to all workers — especially those who feel alone or powerless in their jobs. Grievance procedures are built into union contracts, giving employees the power to be treated with respect.

10. Power to the people: The voice of many is much stronger than the voice of one. Working with co-workers as members of a union creates a much stronger presence when negotiating with management.

Together, workers can’t be ignored. We are ready to help — contact us to learn more about how you can form a union at your workplace. Call us toll free at 1-800-463-5797, ext. 2, or send us a message at

Forming a union frequently asked questions