Five Ways to Protect Your Union Rights

By DC 37 Political Action Department

You are an important part of a dynamic movement. During the last century, labor unions have been the source of monumental improvements to the fabric of American life. Working together in solidarity, we’ve shortened the work week, ensured access to health care for millions of people, and fought for equality, civil rights, and fair pay for all Americans.

Unfortunately, some of the wealthiest individuals and corporations among us are using their power and resources to strip away our union rights. But we are not powerless; there are many things we can do to protect our rights as organized workers.

1. Make Sure You’re a Member

Do you have a signed union card on file? This is the only way to guarantee you’re an active DC 37 member in good standing in order to access all the great privileges, like certain types of legal representation and the ability to vote on contracts, that come with being a DC 37 member. Even if you think you signed a membership card in the past, you should call 212.815.1000 to confirm your membership card is on file. You can also urge your coworkers to sign membership cards. More union members at your worksite gives you more bargaining power!

2. Attend Union Meetings

Your voice matters. Attending your Local’s meetings is a great way to find out about issues that have a direct impact on you as a union member. Union meetings are where details are shared about contract negotiations, worksite issues, and programs for members. Attending union meetings allows you to shape the goals and priorities of your Local and find out about all the perks you can get. Call 212.815.1000 for details on upcoming meetings.

3. Sign Up for the DC 37 PEOPLE Program

You can elect your boss. As a DC 37 member, your job is inherently political. People who are elected into office play a huge role in determining how much you get paid and what your working conditions look like. We need to make sure we elect candidates who understand the importance of the work we do. We need them to fight to protect our jobs, benefits, and the services we provide to our communities. The PEOPLE Program is your DC 37 political action fund. Even though we pay union dues, we’re not allowed to use dues money for most political activities. The PEOPLE Program allows you to join your union sisters and brothers to donate funds for lobbying, leafletting, purchasing print and radio ads, and supporting candidates who will look out for your interests. You can sign up for PEOPLE by scanning the QR code below.

4. Vote

DC 37 is 150,000 members strong. If we use our voting power strategically, we can have a big influence on public policy. Voting has a huge ripple effect — the person we elect as President nominates judges who are confirmed by the people we elect to Congress. The judges determine if we can be a part of a union, or what type of health care we have access to. For DC 37 members, the people we vote into office are the politicians and executives we have to bargain with during contract negotiations. Voting in federal, state, and local elections is one of the best ways to send a message about the issues that matter most to you and your family. Your vote tells a story about your position on issues like education, housing, and climate change. Call 212.815.1550 for upcoming election days and voter registration deadlines.

5. Volunteer

Our union doesn’t exist without you. As members, we have to rally together to accomplish our goals. It’s important for us to volunteer to show our strength as a collective body. When lots of members show up to union events, people in power get a taste of how strong we are. We need to participate at demonstrations, press conferences, and in election campaigns for candidates endorsed by the DC 37 membership. Call 212.815.1550 to be connected to upcoming volunteer opportunities.

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