What Does My Union do for Me?

A while ago I had a few members of Local Union 10 IBEW ask me "What does the union do for me anyway?" I was more than a little surprised to get that question from our own members. We talked about negotiating the collective bargaining agreement, improving safety, processing grievances, and handling members concerns. These sisters and brothers left satisfied with the answer, but I kept thinking about their question.

The more complete answer to the question can be found in a document we should all be familiar with, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Worker's Constitution." First would be "Declaration of the IBEW:"
Our cause is the cause of human justice, human rights, human security.
We refuse, and will always refuse, to condone or tolerate dictatorship or oppression of any kind.
We will find and expel from our midst any who might attempt to destroy, by subversion, all that we stand for.
This Brotherhood will continue to oppose communism, Nazism or any other subversive "ism." We will support our God, our Nations, and our Union.
We can further find more answers to the question in "OBJECTS:"
The objects of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers are:
  • To organize all workers in the entire electrical industry in the United States and Canada, including all those in public utilities and electrical manufacturing, into locals unions.
  • To promote reasonable methods of work.
  • To cultivate feelings of friendship among these of our industry.
  • To settle all disputes between employers and employees by arbitration (if possible).
  • To assist each other in sickness and distress.
  • To secure employment.
  • To reduce the hours of daily labor.
  • To secure adequate pay for our work.
  • To seek a higher and higher standard of living.
  • To seek security for the individual.
  • And by legal and proper means to elevate the moral, intellectual and social conditions of our members, their families and dependents, in the interest of a higher standard of citizenship.
This is who we are, and this is what your UNION does for you.