by Alan Simonis, President, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 998
As President of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 998 this is a question asked of me many times. ATU Local 998 represents Bus operators, Mechanics and service personal at locations throughout the State of Wisconsin. We are proud to represent members in Milwaukee, Kenosha, Sheboygan and Waukesha. In all ATU Local 998 represents over eleven hundred members.
When I am asked why are Unions important it is easy for me to come up with many answers. I have been a Union member for over thirty years and have seen the benefits of belonging to a Union time and time again. To list them all would take up more space than one article would allow for. So I would like to point out what I feel are some of the key reasons of why are Unions important.
Unions protect the basic rights of not only their members but all workers in the community.
Unions through bargaining work to ensure that their members receive family supporting wages and benefits.
Unions work continuously to ensure that their members have safe working conditions.
Unions are very important to working men and women and their families.
Unions protect the basic rights of all workers in the community.
Unions continually work to better their members working conditions.
Unions are not only fighting for their members but are working to build strong communities and create more quality family supporting jobs.
When people are working and earning family supporting wages and benefits, the entire community benefits. Crime is down; neighborhoods are maintained; working people purchase more, which in turn helps the economy improve.
Without Unions employers would have the ability to do whatever they want with their employees. They could fire employees for unjust causes, wages would be cut, and benefits would be slashed. If it weren’t for Unions who would stand up for the workingmen and women along with their families and communities. Who would stand up and say “no” to employers when unreasonable demands are made.
Let’s not be fooled into thinking that employers would put the safety and wellbeing of their employees before profits.
Yes Unions are important, without them the workingmen and women of our country would be at the mercy of the employers.