The Union Advantage

Without a union, you’re on your own.

Without a union contract (collective agreement), employees are on their own and at the mercy of company policies – policies that can be changed any time without any warning. Without a union, employees are left to resolve issues and negotiate with their employer alone. Employees can be fired at any time and without reason, except for discrimination, whistleblowing, or trying to start a union.

A collective agreement gives unionized workers legally binding guarantees covering wages, benefits, rights, and protections that aren’t available to other workers. And with IBEW Local 37, members work together to support each other, improve working conditions through negotiations, and ensure everyone is treated with respect and dignity in a safe work environment where wages are better, and jobs are more secure.

With a Union you have a Collective Agreement.

The biggest difference that separates union from non-union workplaces is having a Collective Agreement – a contract. Unions negotiate meaningful contracts that give unionized workers legally binding guarantees covering wages and benefits and rights and protections that are not available to other workers.

This is the Union Advantage:

  • Respect and fairness on the job
  • Better wage increases and benefits
  • Retirement benefits
  • Better schedules
  • More job security
  • More flexibility for work and family needs
  • Safe and healthy work environment
  • A real say in your job
  • Puts you on more equal footing with your employer
  • A better economic future
  • Provisions for staffing and overtime
  • Support for continuing education and training
  • Fair and equal treatment
  • Vacations and family leave
  • Equitable promotion and transfer
  • Workable grievance system

You can clearly see that there are a lot of differences between unionized employees and non-union employees. With union representation they have a voice at the table with their employer – giving them a say about things like pay, benefits, working conditions, and how work get done.

Below are many of the key advantages of belonging to a union versus not belonging to a union and being on your own.

A Voice on the Job

UNION: Only union members enjoy the legal right and power to have a say on the job.

NON-UNION: Management has exclusive control and decision-making power.


UNION: Pay rates are negotiated to ensure fairness for everyone and protected in the union contract. Seniority is recognized.

NON-UNION: Management alone decides what’s fair pay and can base any raises on business needs, favoritism or anything else.


UNION: Protected by the contract. Changes can only be made with employee approval.

NON-UNION: Can be taken away or changed at any time.

Promotions & Hiring Practices

UNION: Awarded fairly according to the process agreed to in the union contract.

NON-UNION: It’s up to management.

Unfair Treatment & Job Protection

UNION: Employees have a protected way to challenge any unfair or questionable treatment with support and representation for their union. Just cause standards are applied with binding arbitration if the parties can’t agree.

NON-UNION: You’re on your own. Any grievance process gives management the last word.

Working Conditions

UNION: Schedules, vacations, workload, subcontracting, work standards, layoff procedures, hours of work are all agreed to between workers and the employer and protected in the contract.

NON-UNION: Management decides what’s best for employees.

Protections & Guarantees

UNION: Only union workers enjoy a legally binding written agreement with their employer that defines, protects, and guarantees all terms of employment

NON-UNION: Non-union workers have no guarantees and no protections. Without a collective agreement, employees are at the mercy of company policies – policies that can be changed any time, without any warning.