Are unions still needed?

In a perfect society all workers would be compensated justly for their value, treated fairly, and respected at work. Unfortunately it doesn’t always work that way.

Since 1936, GSU has worked hard to represent its members. We’ve bargained workplace contracts and agreements, fought for improved health and safety in the workplace, sought to improve benefit plans, fought to protect pension plans, and implemented grievance and arbitration procedures which allow disputes to be settled fairly and consistently.

Yet, unless all these improvements and agreements are enforced they mean nothing.

In non-union shops people may be pressured to work and not receive the benefits or protections they are entitled to. It’s difficult for an individual non-union worker to enforce their rights. They need to educate themselves on what their rights are and how to file a complaint, file whatever complaint they can, and follow the timelines and procedure to the end. And legal protection against employer reprisal doesn’t necessarily mean there will be no employer reprisal, and it’s intimidating for a worker to stand alone and complain.

Is there a need for someone to fight for the worker and ensure collective agreements and laws protecting workers are enforced? Is there a need for someone to fight for a standard of living beyond the minimum? We say yes. As long as there are workers there will be a need for unions.