More than wages, why workers join Unifor

Profile picture for 12
Billy ONeill
/May 02, 2022

Unifor addressed inflation in our update to L3 Harris Wescam workers on April 25, 2022, and 7 days later, you are receiving an inflation raise. Congrats on your first win; as much as this is a step in the right direction, more is required to address the outstanding issues in the workplace.  The overall compensation package at WESCAM has deteriorated significantly over the years, and through collective bargaining, you will have a legal process to negotiate your terms and conditions of employment.

Workers turn to the union for various reasons; typically, wages are not what pushes them to reach out to join the union. We all know wages are important, and unionized workers do far greater than their non-union counterparts with regular, dependable wage increases. It is often one of the first responses from the bosses to offer wage increases to workers when they hear that employees are talking about joining the union or signing union membership cards. The boss offers these wage increases to deter workers from joining the union. They think they can fool workers into believing things are better with a one-time wage increase.

Workers know better and can’t be fooled so easily by the bosses’ tricks. A Unifor collective agreement will clearly outline when wage increases occur years in advance, so you and your family can depend on regular wage increases. This is far better than a promise of maybe more down the road from the boss with no guarantee.


Respecting the work you do

Forming a union contract with benefits such as a health and dental plan, paid sick leave, RRSPs, and a pension plan is guaranteed in writing. With a union, you and your co-workers will have the support you need to fix health and safety dangers in the workplace.

Each day at WESCAM, workers show up to do their jobs with pride; they are excited to bring their skills and ability to the projects they are working on. They offer solutions to improve their work but have felt underappreciated. A Unifor collective agreement can build respect by clearly outlining the compensation and workplace procedures.

Joining the union is not against your employer; it is a way for workers to negotiate the terms of a legally enforceable agreement respectfully. To be very clear, being in the union brings a significant amount of power to workers. You will have a legal process to grieve management if they do not follow the rules, and you will negotiate a collective agreement and offer assistance on a day-to-day basis to support your membership.

The internal committee, or "employee engagement team," is solely used to plan events like company barbeques. It wouldn't be able to attempt any sort of advocacy for workers. You will still have no recourse if you disagree with your employer's proposal. The employer would not need to take your suggestions when you bring them forward. They will continue with the plans they favour dismissing your opinions and further disrespecting you and your work.

You deserve respect in the workplace.

If you have any questions about the process of joining the union, joining sure to sign up for our weekly updates or send long any questions you may have.

[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]