Unions 101

What is a Union? 


Unions are democratically elected bodies dedicated to represent the interests of working people across diverse workplaces. As democratic bodies, unions are
centered around a simple proposition: by coming together in solidarity, working women and men gain strength in numbers so they can have a voice at work about what they care about.

When working people organize, we unify our voices to negotiate a contract with our employers for things like a fair and safe workplace, better wages, a secure retirement and family-friendly policies such as paid sick leave and scheduling hours. The more workers who join unions and become actively involved, the more power we have to build a brighter future for all working peoples. When we join together, we can fight back against a rigged system.


How do Unions Help Working People?

Unions don’t just help union members - they’re good for everyone. Union jobs put a “floor” under wages and benefits for entire industries; raising pay, making good benefits a key part of compensation, and improving conditions for all workers. Unions provide a voice for all working people in the Commonwealth, whether they carry a union card or not.

Unions strive to build a high-road economy in which the rewards of economic growth are broadly shared. A high-road economy is a fair economy where companies that receive taxpayer funded incentives to locate and grow in Massachusetts, hire Bay State workers and provide living wages, safe working conditions, family-friendly policies, and secure, sustainable jobs.

Union workers are constantly organizing to fight for their jobs and workplaces as well as for policies that improve life for all working families.

Recently, in Massachusetts, Organized Labor has won:
  • Minimum Wage Raise (From $8 to $11)
  • Earned Sick Time Legislation
  • Domestic Workers Bill of Rights
  • Workplace Protections for State Employees 
  • Defeating corporate money / influence and harmful legislation in Massachusetts - most recently, Save Our Public Schools Campaign

What Labor & Our Allies are Fighting for Right Now:

  • Fight for $15 (Minimum Wage Legislation)
  • Wage Theft Legislation
  • Expanding Workplace Protections for State Employees

The Union Advantage! Why Join a Union?

Whether the objective is higher wages, affordable and guaranteed health insurance, pensions, job security, paid leave, or simply having a real say in improving their jobs the union advantage is clear. Why join a union? Workers join unions because they know that we’re all stronger together.

Union workers are not only hard working men and women, they are brothers and sisters in a movement to create a more equitable society, economy, and political landscape for all working people. When workers stand together in solidarity we amplify our voices, those voices are heard by politicians, employers, and corporations alike.

Join us; Find out how to join a union today or, if your workplace is not yet organized, find out how to unionize your workplace today.