Union members have a voice in determining what they want in terms of wages, hours and working conditions. Contract negotiations are at the core of labor movement. They occur when workers join together to negotiate issues with their employer. The end result is a contract that spells out, in great detail, all of the terms both parties agree to, from wages and benefits, to a grievance procedure, job security and time off.
Union members generally elect a bargaining team made up of a few of their coworkers to join expert negotiators from their local union in negotiations with management. Once the bargaining team reaches a tentative agreement with the employwer, they present the proposal to their coworkers for a vote. This is called the ratification process. The contract only goes into effect if a majority of the the membership approves the tentative agreement.
Contract specifics will vary from one worksite, or employer, to the next, but generally include provisions on:
Wages, hours and benefits;
Health and safety;
Grievance procedures and arbitration.
Remember, in non-union worksites, management alone dictates the terms and conditions of employment. No discussion. No negotiation. No employee inpout. Decisions are simply made without regard to the employees who must bear the consequences.
A union empowers workers to make decisions which impact their lives and jobs. Michigan Teamsters are proud of our record of standing up and fighting for fairness and dignity for the membership.