Union members earn 34% more than non-union workers.

More than 75% of union workers have health benefits. Less than half of non-workers have healh coverage.

Nearly 70% of union workers have a pension. Only 14% of non-union workers have one.

The 10 states where unions are strongest have higher earnings, better health coverage, less crime, more civic participation, less poverty and better schools than the 10 states where union membership is lowest.

Responses to three reasons non-members won't join CSEA!

REASON 1: I don't believe in unions.

RESPONSE: Do you believe in being fired without cause? Do you believe in child labor? Poverty wages? No retirement system? Straight pay for overtime? 48 hour workweeks? Unions are the only means for workers to deal with management on an equal basis. Unions and union members have established and protected workplace and civil rights for almost a century. How can you believe in America and not believe in unions?

REASON 2: Who needs the union? What has it ever done for me?

RESPONSE: Most of the things that make your job worth having exist only because the union exists. If the union ceased to function tomorrow, how long do you think you'd have the salary and benefits you have now?

REASON 3: I can't afford the dues.

RESPONSE: You don't really believe management gives raises out of the goodness of their hearts do you? Management wanted to freeze your wages, cut health care benefits and increase hours. You've got it backwards. Given what management wants to do to our pay and working conditions, we can't afford to pay union dues.

Did you know that labor unions made the following 36 things possible?

  1. Weekends without work
  2. All breaks at work, including your lunch breaks
  3. Paid vacation
  4. Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  5. Sick leave
  6. Social Security
  7. Minimum wage
  8. Civil Rights Act/Title VII - prohibits employer discrimination
  9. 8-hour work day
  10. Overtime pay
  11. Child labor laws
  12. Occupational Safety & Health Act (OSHA)
  13. 40-hour work week
  14. Workers' compensation (workers' comp)
  15. Unemployment insurance
  16. Pensions
  17. Workplace safety standards and regulations
  18. Employer health care insurance
  19. Collective bargaining rights for employees
  20. Wrongful termination laws
  21. Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA)
  22. Whistleblower protection laws
  23. Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA) - prohibits employers from using a lie detector test on an employee
  24. Veteran's Employment and Training Services (VETS)
  25. Compensation increases and evaluations (i.e. raises)
  26. Sexual harassment laws
  27. Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)
  28. Holiday pay
  29. Employer dental, life, and vision insurance
  30. Privacy rights
  31. Pregnancy and parental leave
  32. Military leave
  33. The right to strike
  34. Public education for children
  35. Equal Pay Acts of 1963 & 2011 - requires employers pay men and women equally for the same amount of work
  36. Laws ending sweatshops in the United States

Sometimes union members ask some pretty tough questions.  Following are suggested answers to the kinds of questions we all hear.

Q. Why do unions always seem to protect lousy employees?  I'm tired of my dues going to pay for representation of the workers who is constantly messing up.

A. When you join a union and work with a contract your job becomes your property and you can not lose your job without due process and representation.  That is a right worth protecting.

Q. I pay agency shop fee instead of dues.  Why should I make the switch to membership, I get everything anyway?

A. Because you get a lot more than you might know about.  As a member you are entitled to vote on your contract and your leadership - you have a voice in running the union.  In addition, there are a ton of benefits and information that are for union members only.

Q. I keep reading that labor unions are shrinking.  What is going on and why?

A. The number of union members as a percentage of all workers has been in a slump for 20 years.  However, the total number of union members has remained fairly constant.  It is the number of jobs and the type of work that has changed.  Changing this problem has been and will continue to be a chief focus of the labor movement.

Hey, how has CSEA been doing on the organizing effort lately?  Do we have any new members?

Most recently CSEA organizers, staff and members volunteers organized over 500 workers at QSAC in NYC.  They work in group homes, schools and day treatment centers in support of developmentally disabled children and adults.  We are close to signing our first contract.

Sodexho Food Service workers at SUNY New Paltz also recently joined the family.  There are over 100 new members in this location.  The campaign was supported by CSEA members and students.

Chartwells Food Service workers at the SUNY Purchase also recently came on board.  This campaign featured a neutrality agreement between CSEA and the employer.

Clarkson University blue collar workers also joined CSEA this summer thanks to a cooperative effort of CSEA field staff, organizers and activists.  This group numbers about 100 members.

  • Because it's a dog-eat-dog world out there and all of us need to stick together so those in power can hear our bark and feel our bite.
  • Because without unions we would work longer and have less time with our families.
  • Because without unions that dream of retirement would never be more than a dream.
  • Because the boss doesn't always play fair.  Did you know that:
    • 25% of employers illegally fire at least one worker for union activity during organizing campaigns.
    • 75% of employers hire union-busters to fight union organizing
    • 78% of employers force employees to attend one-on-one meetings with their own supervisors against the union.
    • 52% of employers threaten to call the Immigration and Naturalization Service during organizing that includes undocumented workers.
    • 51% of companies threaten to close the plant if the union wins the election, however, less than 1% ever actually do that.