Although joining a trade union and unionizing a workplace are Charter rights recognized in Canada, you may still encounter “union busters”, individuals who attempt to dissuade you by spreading misinformation and myths. These individuals might be your boss, friends, or even family members. Below is a list of common myths associated with unions, along with straightforward rebuttals to help you confidently navigate these conversations.
Unions Encourage Laziness
Nothing like an old classic! You’ll often hear that unions promote laziness since it provides job security. On the contrary, unions promote fairness and equal opportunities in the workplace. They advocate for fair pay, reasonable working hours, and safe conditions, but they do not condone or encourage laziness.
Union Dues Are Expensive and a Waste of Money
Will the union take your hard-earned money? Whilst it’s true that your union can only function because of the dues from its members, these amounts are very low, and tax deductible. Union dues fund collective bargaining, legal representation, and other member services. Members typically enjoy better wages, benefits, and working conditions as a result of their union representation, which often far outweighs the cost of dues.
Unions Are No Longer Relevant
A lot of people will recognize that unions played a great role in the past, obtaining the 5-day, 40-hour workweek for instance. However, a few are quick to point out that unions are no longer relevant in our modern societies. In a fast-changing economy and precarious job market, unions continue to play a critical role in advocating for workers’ rights. They are adapting to new realities, and remain an essential force for securing fair pay, benefits, and working conditions for employees and balancing the power dynamics in a workplace.
Unions Lead to Lower Productivity
Since people are well protected, why would they work hard? Union cause a loss in productivity, and all the employees lose in that situation! This couldn’t be more false. By fostering a positive work environment and ensuring fair wages and benefits, unions can help attract and retain skilled employees, which only contributes to a company’s productivity, and long-term success.
Unions Only Protect Bad Employees
Will your union protect your underperforming colleagues? Will they be there for you when you need them? Unions are not the ones managing employees. Unions work to ensure that all employees receive fair treatment and due process. This includes providing legal representation for workers facing disciplinary action. While this may apply to employees who may have underperformed, it applies to everyone. The goal of a union is to ensure that any disciplinary action is just and that workers have the opportunity to improve their performance.