Skip to main content
President's Report

Union Members Get More, and Here’s Why

We often say “Union Members Get More!” because it’s true.

For example, an average Union worker’s total compensation is $10.62 per hour higher than a non-Union worker’s.

This adds up to big money over the course of a lifetime. In fact, a full-time member could earn $662,688 more than a non-Union worker earns over a 30-year career.

And this doesn’t include holiday and vacation pay, workplace guarantees and many other perks of membership.

All this is possible because Unions are about giving power to working people.

In the spirit of solidarity, we bring workers together so they can stand up for themselves and negotiate as equals with the giant corporations which employ them.

Through the collective bargaining process, we negotiate contracts with employers to protect and promote the interests of working people, who really are the force behind economic growth in our country.

Beyond the substantial differences in wages I described above, here are a few additional examples of how your Union negotiated contract makes your career and your living standards better than “normal”:

Equal pay for equal work

Technically, it’s against the law for companies to pay their workers differently according to gender, race, ethnicity or other arbitrary distinctions which have nothing to do with a worker’s job performance.

Unfortunately, reality has a long way to go before it catches up to the ideal set by law. Women and racial minorities especially feel the sting when equal pay does not come with equal work.

Fortunately, our Union-negotiated contract provides legally binding guarantees of wage standards for all. Every Union member knows exactly what to expect, based entirely on job classification and experience. If any discrimination exists, we will enforce the contract vigorously.


Most working Americans have Social Security or an equivalent. This maintains a minimum standard which might not guarantee one’s ability to retire with security, but it can supplement other sources of retirement income to enable people to barely get by.

For Union members, though, it’s not enough to barely get by. Our contracts provide retirement plans which supplement Social Security and ensure financial security and dignity into our later years.

Health care

The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, requires large employers to provide health care packages to their full-time employees and their families. While they are much better than no health care, these plans can’t compare with the high-quality, comprehensive and low-cost packages you enjoy as a member of UFCW 8-Golden State.

Workplace guarantees

Employees without a Union contract are “at will,” which means managers can discipline them or even fire them in most situations with little or no recourse. There’s nothing to stop a boss from terminating an employee simply because he or she earns more than a less-experienced employee at a non-Union workplace.

Fortunately, Union workers are protected by strong contracts which enforce fairness and equal treatment. Your manager is not allowed to deny you work hours simply because he or she has a friend who is getting those hours instead.

Your Union contract’s grievance procedure means you are entitled to a hearing if you are being mistreated or if you are accused unfairly of breaking the rules.

Protections against harassment

We’re hearing a lot these days about sexual harassment and bullying on the job. Should you be affected, please contact your Union Representative immediately.

Your Union membership means you have a powerful and effective ally in correcting injustice. Those who don’t have a Union usually have to go it alone, regardless of what the law says.

None of these protections and benefits come to you as gifts from your employer, and government doesn’t always succeed in getting you what you deserve from your job.

The members of UFCW 8-Golden State have earned it all by sticking together and demanding more than the minimum standards required by government or the free market.

Solidarity Works!