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We here at Global Power – Workforce Solutions are committed to the preferences of our contractors and offer a number of both union and non-union jobs. Now you might not know the difference between the two types of jobs. Interested in learning more about the pros and cons of union and non-union jobs? Curious what the difference is? Want to know which one is right for you? Read on to learn all about union and non-union jobs in the power industry.

The Basics

Whether you’re an employee or a manager in the power industry, you probably already know the basics about what a union is, but we’ll cover the essentials for you just in case. A union is quite simply an organization of a number of employees who gather to address issues such as member hours, pay, and working conditions. Unions can be local, regional or national in scale, and are led by democratically elected leadership and guided by member drafted and ratified constitutions.

Unions strive to promote and protect the interests of members and non-members alike. They often represent employees in disciplinary processes and offer various services to members outside of the workplace. Unions can be seen in action across the country advocating for workplace reform such as increases in the federal minimum wage and requirements for paid sick leave. To be a member of a union, employees must pay a membership fee and are expected to participate in union meetings, elections, and other activities.

Union Jobs

While unions are sometimes seen in a negative light, union jobs can offer a lot of benefits for employees. Collective bargaining and union negotiation can often result in higher wages and better working conditions for employees in the power industry. Union jobs are considered to be more secure, provide a structured working environment, and can provide higher wages for workers as well. Unions provide an avenue of empowerment for workers to negotiate for better jobs and working conditions.

Non-Union Jobs

In non-union jobs, often referred to as “open shop”, employees are employed “at will”, meaning that an employee can choose whether to stay or go based on the situation. Employers have a great deal of control over whether they can discipline or fire staff at any time. Employers also have complete control over wages, benefits, and other work terms and conditions.

In a still recovering economy, businesses are struggling to meet ambitious sales goals which still meeting the demands of unions. The theory is that non-union jobs provide an opportunity for employers to compete for the best workers through voluntarily offering higher wages and better benefits than other companies in the industry.

Summary

For those looking for contract work in the power industry, both union and non-union jobs are prevalent within the power generation industry.  Many “travelers”, those that enjoy working short terms projects in various geographic areas, tend to prefer the flexibility and freedom provided by open shop opportunities.  Skilled trade professionals that want to live and work within a particular community with a strong local union presence will often decide to become part of that local union.  In the end, it really comes down to employee preference whether to join a union or not.

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