June 26, 1959: The 189-mile-long St. Lawrence Seaway opens, making the Great Lakes accessible to Atlantic shipping. Thousands of laborers toiled for decades to make it happen; indirectly and directly, the Seaway today supports 75,000 jobs in Canada and 150,000 in the U.S.
Unions such as Teamsters Local 992 have played and continue to play a great role in balancing the scales for working people. It is a documented and statistical fact that corporate America has benefited from the economy while income equalities continue for working Americans.
That is why more and more workers are joining unions. Union membership in 1999 rose by more than 265,000 new members, the largest increase in 20 years. The labor movement has fought hard to secure many benefits that are now enjoyed by workers across the nation. A few examples are ...
The 40-hour work week
The 8-hour day
Employer-paid health insurance
Paid time off for vacations and holidays
Safety and health protections
There are other things that you cannot put a price tag on: Dignity, respect, a real voice ion the job, and betterment for working families.
At Will vs Just Cause
In the State of Maryland employees not covered by a union contact can be terminated for any reason, or for no reason at all. However, employees covered by a union contract can only be terminated for proven just cause. Simple words, but they mean a lot. It means that the employer can not arbitrarily terminate an employee.
In your copy of the union contract you will find information about the grievance and arbitration procedures that spell out what needs to be done when an employee believes that h/she is being disciplined unfairly by an employer.