When you take a union job, the union must, by law, represent you. It would be unfair to receive representation and benefits without paying your share. Some say “If I don’t want to pay dues, I can just quit and go to work at the mall.” Few do this.
Your union dues pay for representing thousands of employees against powerful multi-million and even multi-billion dollar employers. This is an increasingly difficult and expensive proposition. Attracting good union representatives, lawyers, and other advocates is a financial challenge. Arbitrators and mediators are expensive. Administrative, organizing, upgrading and education expenditures continue to rise. A strike fund must be sustained. The services of the International Union, Canadian Labour Congress, Alberta Federation of Labour, Labour Councils, and other assistance must be remunerated. Negotiating contracts is very expensive as the union pays lost wages and benefits for the negotiating committees made up of employees from your workplaces. The costs associated with union representation are indeed many and varied.
With a well-funded union, together we can provide the resistance and pushback needed to continue negotiating union contracts we can all be proud of. Whether it’s better wages and benefits, job protection, or quality of life issues like scheduling, union dues are used to provide members with protection they can count on.