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What is a Union?

If you are an open shop employee and can’t decide whether to join a union, consider this:


Most Electrical Contractors belong to:
Associated Builders and Contractors
Association of General Contractors
Independent Electrical Contractors Association
Subcontractors Association of America
Vermont Electrical Contractors Association
All these associations are unions that were formed by employers to promote and benefit their interests.  Why can’t you have an organization that works for your benefit and well-being?

Did you know that:

Your contractor signs an agreement for everything he does;
Your contractor signs a contract when they win a bid;
Your contractor signs a contract when they buy electrical supplies; and
Your contractor would not buy any supplies or perform any work without signing a contract.

The only contract they won’t sign is the contract that protects the rights of their workers.

Ask them why?

What is a Union?

A union is a group of workers who are united together to have a collective voice in obtaining workplace goals. There can be no democracy on the job without workers’ empowerment through their union.

What is a Union Contract?

A union contract is a signed agreement between the company and the union spelling out the rights of the workers.

What will be in our contract?

It is up to the union employees to decide what to negotiate for.  A negotiating committee is selected from among your co-workers.  Then, with the assistance of union negotiators, the committee will sit down with management to negotiate a contract.

The law says that both sides must bargain “in good faith” to reach an agreement on wages, benefits, and working conditions.  The contract will only take effect after it is ratified (approved) by a majority of the workers.

IBEW Local 300’s contract contains language regarding contract dispute procedures.  We specify in our contract that there shall be no stoppage of work either by strike or lockout.

Who runs the union?

The union is a democratic organization run by the members.  You elect the local officers.  You vote on many important issues.  You vote on your contract.  Union members elect delegates to the national conventions, where delegates elect national officers and vote on major issues.  The union is the people themselves.

Have you ever been mistreated?

Has your employer ever treated you unfairly?  Maybe a mistake on your paycheck?  Improper overtime pay? A misunderstanding on how many hours you actually worked?  Failure to divide overtime hours on an equable basis... or, maybe a question on time for lunch or breaks, starting or quitting times, pay for travel time, safety or many other issues.

What can you do about it if your boss doesn’t like you, treats you unfairly, denies you a promotion, disciplines or discharges you without just cause?  Probably nothing if you are not represented by the IBEW.

What can the union do about favoritism?

Fairness is the most important part of the union contract.  The same rules apply to everyone.  If any worker feels that he or she is not being treated fairly, then he or she still has the opportunity to complain to the supervisor, just like before.  But under a union contract, the supervisor or manager no longer has the final say.  They are no longer judge and jury.  If the worker is not satisfied with the response of the supervisor, the worker can file a grievance.

The first step of a grievance procedure is for the steward to accompany the worker to try and resolve the problem with the supervisor.  If the worker is not satisfied, the steward and the employee, with help from the Union Business Manager, can bring the grievance to higher management.  If the complaint is not resolved, then the issue can be placed before an outside neutral judge called an arbitrator.

IBEW Local 300 Respects and Protects Our Older Workers

How many electricians over the age of 45 do you see on the non-union jobs?  Overall, not many?  That’s because non-union construction employers do not provide the fringe benefits that older electricians need.

As an electrician grows older, benefits become more important.  The likelihood of major surgery, heart attack, disabling illness, etc., increases.  The need to earn decent retirement benefits also becomes more urgent.  Because of this, many older electricians leave the non-union construction industry to accept other jobs in order to obtain the benefit coverage they know they need.

As union electricians, we have excellent fringe benefits and, as we grow older, we are covered by minimum employment quotas as well.

In I.B.E.W. Local 300, we value our older workers.  Their years of experience and their wealth of knowledge in the electrical trade are a valuable resource this union will never disregard.

Wages and Benefits

As union members, we bargain collectively with our employers over wages, benefits, and other terms and conditions of employment.  We offer an excellent wage and benefit package to our members which helps to support the families of our members, and the communities in which they live. Read more about our benefit package here

For more information on how you can become a member of Local 300, IBEW, call in confidence

Danielle Bombardier, Organizer

or write to us in care of

IBEW Local # 300
3 Gregory Drive
South Burlington, VT 05403
All communications are strictly confidential to protect your rights!