Do you think that you have no reason to join a workers union? That you are ’safe’ at your job and that spending money on a union membership is a waste of money? Think again.
Being a union member is like having home insurance. You hope you never have to use it, but still pay the annual or monthly fee without much hesitation, just in case. If there was a fire and your home was in ruins, you would be grateful for the support coming from your insurance company. Money cannot replace lost belongings, but it can help you start over without first hitting rock bottom.
By being a union member, you get access to a support network that includes a number of perks. Some of them are:
- Unemployment insurance. Most unions provide the option of unemployment insurance for their members. This means you will receive financial help, covering up to 80 % of your income, if you lose your job.
- Legal help. If you find yourself in a situation where the only viable solution is going to court, your union can provide guidance and, in most cases, a lawyer.
- Local support. Not all issues require legal action, but are still difficult to deal with as an employee. In these cases, a union worker could come assist you in addressing the issue at hand. Many of the bigger unions have local offices all across the country.
- Better working conditions. You might not be able to notice it today, but unions are responsible for many of the improvements in terms of working conditions that have been made through the years. They are constantly working towards a better working environment behind the scenes. With Sweden having no federal minimum wage, unions are to thank for the agreements made regarding salary.
- In-between jobs? The bigger unions offer job search coaching. Having someone experienced look at your resume and give you advice before a job interview could give you a big advantage.
There are different unions for different work fields and some unions are job specific. There is, for example, a union for the journalists of Sweden, but also ‘generic’ unions that welcome working professionals in all fields. Unionen (The Union) is one of Sweden’s biggest workers unions with over 570 000 members.
In addition to these benefits, unions can often offer discounts and other fun extras for their members.