At the Colorado Building Construction Trades Council our goal for every project is to be on time and under budget. We value our members, contractors, and state.
Below is an overview of our union history, dues, and myth vs. reality when it comes to working Union. At Colorado Building Trades Construction trades Council, we a working together to provide a better future for Colorado and its workforce.
UNIONS: Yesterday and Today
As early as the 1700’s, American workers began to organize into workers’ associations. The first documented trade union was the Society of Journeyman Cordwainers (Shoemakers) in 1794. This and other associations were the forerunners for today’s labor unions. During the 1800’s the working people grasped the concept of working together to improve working conditions and wages. Business reacted to this with court injunctions to stop the labor movement, then with force if necessary. Unions were outlawed and moved underground.READ MORE
It wasn’t until the Railway Labor Act of 1926 that some workers had the right to join a Union. The National Labor Relations Act, of 1935. or as it is sometimes referred to. the Wagner Act, was and is the Bill of Rights for workers. (This Act allows all workers to freely join a union and bargain collectively through representation of their own choosing.)
The history of the American worker has been richly influenced by Unions working together to improve the work place for “all” workers whether Union or not. Unions can take credit for the passage of many federal labor laws, which most workers take for granted.
- The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1947 provides for the forty hour work week and overtime after forty.
- The Davis Bacon Act of 1935 provides workers with prevailing wages on any federally funded construction project in any given area of the country.
- Social Security Insurance Act gives the American worker the chance to retire with some dignity.
- The Occupational Health and Safety Act which provides for a safe environment in which we can work.
- The National Labor Relations act of 1935 gives workers the right to band together for the benefit of all.
- The minimum wage law is part of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
These are but a few of the many laws that protect the workers in this country. American workers can thank the Unions of the past and present for all the work place protection laws on the books today.
Workers must look to the strength of Organized Labor to insure that our future does not revert to our past. Unions are as vital to workers today as they were almost 200 years ago. To help insure this goal to better the lives of American Workers, use your legal right to join a Union, and become part of the history we make every day.
The amount of dues payable each month to the local union is decided by the local union members. Some locals have established in their bylaws an approved amount for dues with a percentage forwarded to the International consistent with the Constitution. The remaining monies stay in the local union treasury and are under the control of its members.READ MORE
Strict accounting of funds is required and expenditures are subject to approval of the members. A full financial report is made available at each meeting and certified audits are performed quarterly.
Many locals have their own special “distress funds” for the purpose of helping members in cases of sickness, family deaths or other worthy needs.
UNION MEMBERSHIP DOESN’T COST – IT PAYS!
* * * Non-Union Dues * * *
Example: If you make $10/hr and the Union craft makes $I5/hr the $5 difference times 40 hours a week equals $200 weekly, which is $10,400 annually. THOSE ARE YOUR NON-UNION DUES!!!
Myth vs Reality
MYTH: Unions are “special interest” organizations.
REALITY: Unions actually use political power in ways to help the entire country. We fight for social security, higher minimum wage laws, strong public education, fair trade, and worker protection laws.
MYTH: If I join the union, I will sit on the bench.
REALITY: The majority of all union workers are employed by the same company throughout the year. Among those who worked more than 1,800 hours during the year, it was even more likely that they worked for a single employer.
MYTH: Unions are run by bosses.
REALITY: Unions are run by members to a greater extent than almost any other American institution. The University of Michigan Survey Research Center found that within a two-year period, about three-quarters of membership went to at least one union meeting and about the same percent voted in a union election.
MYTH: Unions are generally corrupt.
REALITY: The overwhelming majority of union leaders are honest. A former U.S. Attorney General found serious problems in less than one-half of one percent of all local unions. Business is ten times more likely to be corrupt.