Work Union & Live Better
Written by Jennifer Munt, MNTSB/MJP Executive Director
Many of us have had “the talk” with our kids. Not the birds and bees talk, but the work union talk. As Teamsters, we know that people who work union live better.
It’s a fact. United we bargain for better wages and benefits, and we have more say over the terms and conditions of our employment.
Our union advantage is real, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Wages of union members are, on average, 27 percent higher than workers without union representation. Also, 92 percent of union workers have job-related health coverage, while 68 percent of non-union workers do. Finally, 73 percent of union workers have a guaranteed pension with defined benefits, compared to only 16 percent of non-union workers.
At the Teamsters Service Bureau, we help job seekers find good, safe union jobs. We empower our clients to transition from soul-sucking work into a career they love – often with higher pay and better benefits that come with a union contract.
Most of us know someone who lost work during the pandemic. If your family members, friends, or neighbors are unemployed, we can help them. Our Teamsters Service Bureau offers career counseling, job training, résumé preparation, placement services, and financial support – all free to participants. Job seekers can call 612-676-3710 to find out if they’re eligible for our assistance. They can also learn more about our employment services at www.jobpartners.org.
One real-life example. Abdul lost work as an Uber driver when COVID hit. During the lockdown, no one needed a ride anywhere. So, Abdul decided to pursue a more stable career as an over-the-road trucker. He enrolled in our program and we were able to pay $5,000 tuition for his CDL training. The course included 160 hours of online instruction and behind-the-wheel practice at Dakota County Technical College, where his instructor is a retired Teamster. Today Abdul’s Commercial Driver’s License is like gold! He has several offers from Teamster employers who will pay $80,000 to start.
No matter which employer Abdul chooses, it will grow our union and provide relief for other Teamsters who are overworked at companies that are understaffed.
Teamsters are North America’s most powerful union with 1.4 million members nationwide. The more union members there are, the better off everyone is. On that front, there’s good news. The number of Minnesota workers belonging to a union swelled last year – from 398,000 to 416,000, or 16 percent of all workers, according to data released by the U.S. Labor Department. Union organizers attribute the uptick to increased organizing and big infrastructure projects like the $3 billion Enbridge pipeline built across northern Minnesota.
It’s a job seeker’s market. Working people across Minnesota are standing up and demanding higher pay and better benefits, safer workplaces, and a voice on the job. We’re here to help them work union and live a better life.
Teamsters Service Bureau