UFCW Local 401 is being approached by workers in Excel Society’s Residential Program to join a union and work towards their first union contract. We hear a lot of the same questions from many employees and we would like to answer; perhaps you have heard the same questions. Some of the common themes people are thinking about are regarding things like union dues and even being terminated for union activity!
Can my employer fire me for joining the union or just talking about a union?
No, it is your legal right to talk to UFCW Local 401 about your rights to join a union. We do want to respect confidentiality, so we will call you and meet with you on your off hours, and all of those meetings remain confidential.
Can the union charge 2%-10% of my salary in union dues and increase the dues amount without notice to the employees?
No. All unions are non-profit organizations that collect dues only to maintain their viability as an organization. We believe we must first show our value to you before you pay dues, and will not deduct any until we can get a first union contract in place. Union dues are initially set by the union President, but if there are increases they MUST be voted on by the membership. The union officials do not get a vote. Management does not get a vote. Only the workers who will be members of UFCW 401 get to vote!
Local 401 does not take dues from members when they are on maternity, or medical leave, the dues are only paid when you receive money from the employer. In addition, Local 401 offers a dues rebate program for those who make less than $125 per week, where members can submit a copy of their pay stub, and receive a portion of their dues back.
In some cases Local 401 will lower the union dues for members who have their first contract, depending on what is negotiated. For example, Balwin Villa and Grand Manor got their first contract and they are paying $8 per week. The members of Balwin Villa and Grand Manor were told it could be 2%-10% of their salary, they are paying much less than what the employer was claiming.
Overall, Local 401 is looking to give you the protection that you deserve, and recognize that you should have the same opportunity for the security and benefits a union provides as other employees of Excel Resources. We are transparent with our union dues, and have a track record of filing charges against employers that intimidate, harass, or coerce employees who exercise their legal right to join a union.
If you have any further questions please contact Catherine Lelis, confidentially at: 780-720-7484.
Posted on: February 19,2015