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Social Responsibility

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Many union members and their families are looking for organizations that are socially-conscious and whose mission reflects their values.  Union Plus is your source for union-endorsed consumer benefits

Union Privilege is the non-profit founded by the AFL-CIO in 1986 to deliver the Union Plus consumer benefit programs uniquely designed for working families.

But there is more to Union Privilege than just the Union Plus programs we provide. We are committed to helping to build a strong labor movement and adding more value to union membership. Click on the blue text below to learn more about some of the organization's guiding principles.
 

Unionplus Home Environmental Responsibility Promoting Labor's Future through Scholarships and Training Added Financial Security for Working Families Uniquely Union Assistance Labor Oversight and Support Labor's Collective Strength

 

 LABOR'S COLLECTIVE STRENGTH


You know about your union's collective bargaining power. We use the same collective negotiating strength of more than 13 million union members to negotiate solid values for consumer programs available from nationally known providers:

 

LABOR OVERSIGHT & SUPPORT

 

  • Union Privilege supports American workers in many ways, including requiring U.S.-based customer service call centers for all major programs, including the Union Plus Credit Card.
     
  • All Union Privilege printed materials are "Union Printed in the USA."  In addition, all materials are shipped using unionized carriers (e.g. UPS).
     
  • Check out union-made programs with Union Plus discounts for union families - including sweatshop-free discount clothing.
     
  • A volunteer board of top union officials -- along with representatives from each of more than 60 international unions -- oversees the Union Plus programs.
     
  • All Union Plus programs are also thoroughly researched and continuously monitored by Union Privilege staff - including measuring the effectiveness of program provider operations, complaint resolution and customer satisfaction. Learn about staff charitable giving below.

    If you do run into concerns about a Union Plus program, we suggest you first contact the provider's customer service staff. In most cases, they will be able to address your problem. But, if you find you need additional help, our full-time Union Plus Member Advocate staff is here to help.  See our customer service section for details.
     
  • Annually, each program undergoes a competitive review of pricing, features, customer service, and consumer value. Union Plus programs offer a competitive edge when compared with similar services available to the general public.
     
  • Union dues are not used to support any Union Privilege activities. 

"UNIQUELY UNION" ASSISTANCE


With Union Plus benefits, your union membership doesn't cost - it pays! To find out how much you could save in a year with the Union Plus programs, use this online savings calculator.

Union Plus programs include exclusive features that you won't find anywhere else, including: 

  • Union Plus Auto Insurance includes a driver's education grant so you can attend special driving classes. This is an ideal program for your children who are learning to drive or for anyone who could use a driving course refresher. Plus, in some states, your insurance premium decreases after attending a driver's ed course.
     
  • The Union Plus Insurance Program offers union members up to $20,000 of Accidental Death Insurance at no cost.  The no-cost coverage is renewable every year without any strings attached.  Hundreds of millions of dollars of no-cost coverage has already been issued to union members. 
     
  • Union Plus Mortgage has a $100 cap on fees and special mortgage assistance for union members facing financial hardship due to layoff, strike or disability.
     
  • And, Union Plus Assistance grants provide assistance to members who are on strike, locked out or laid off.
     
  • Free, practical education and advice to help union members be savvy consumers.  Check out the Credit Education 101 section, the Credit Clinic and the Union Plus Retirement site.
     
  • Your union membership automatically entitles you - and your family - to the Union Plus discounts and services.  Both current and retired union members are automatically eligible for their union's Union Plus benefits.  Start using your benefits today!
     

ADDED FINANCIAL SECURITY FOR WORKING FAMILIES


Facing lay-off, strike, disability or debt problems?  Unique union member only features can help:

  • Union Plus Mortgage participants benefit from a special Mortgage Assistance Fund which provides loans or grants to union members facing a long term strike, disability or layoff. Nearly $2 million in mortgage assistance grants and interest-free loans were given in 2009.
     
  • In 2008, we introduced the Save My Home Hotline to help union members facing foreclosure to take steps to save their homes.
     
  • Union Plus Assistance grants offer money to qualified union members who are laid off, on strike, disabled, facing debt problems or large uncovered hospital bills.
     
  • Free budgeting advice and credit counseling has been provided to over 10,000 union families during times of financial hardship related to strikes, layoffs, disability and natural disaster.
     
  • Union Plus Credit Cardmembers have special protections in case of financial difficulty:

    • The Union Plus Disability & Job Loss Grants provides grants to cardholders who experience a significant loss of household income due to a recent long-term illness or prolonged disability. In 2009 we distributed $344,000 in grants.
    • The Disaster Relief Fund provides grants to Union Plus cardholders affected by a natural disaster. A total of $400,000 was provided to cardholders impacted by Hurricane Katrina.
    • Layoff Helpline (1-800-551-2873) assists members who have been laid off by securing reduced rates or fixed payment plans.
       

LABOR'S FUTURE: EDUCATION 


Union Privilege takes its non-profit status and mission seriously. Here are some examples:

  • $150,000 in Union Plus scholarships was awarded to over 100 students in 2010. Since 1992, union members and their children/dependents have received more than $3 million in scholarships to pay for higher education.
     

ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY


Union Privilege supports green practices that create and sustain green jobs. As part of our responsibility to help build a better future and encourage the creation of "green collar" jobs, we support the emerging partnerships between labor and environmental groups such as the Blue Green Alliance with the United Steelworkers (USW).

Because we believe environmental responsibility starts at home, we follow "green" business practices including recycling and energy-savings.

  • Starting in January 2009, Union Privilege only hires printers who follow Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) guidelines.  All Union Privilege printed materials are also  "Union Printed in the USA."
  • Union Privilege employees are encouraged and rewarded for using public transportation, biking, and walking to work.


IN THE UNION PRIVILEGE WORKPLACE

 

  • Union Privilege staff are members of the Office of Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Local 2 and are dedicated to the union movement and its goals.
     
  • For the last 5 years Union Privilege staff and international union benefits representatives have worked together on Habitat for Humanity houses in Atlanta, GA; Chicago, IL; Harrisburg, PA; Miami, FL; and New Orleans, LA. In addition, the following Union Plus program providers have contributed over $80,000 to Habitat for Humanity:

  • Union Privilege has a charitable matching program for its staff. Union Privilege matches charitable contributions made by staff, up to $500 per person annually.

Union Plus credit cards are issued by Capital One, N.A.

These hardship assistance grants are provided and administered through the AFL-CIO Mutual Benefit Plan ("The Plan"). Additional information about these hardship assistance grants and eligibility criteria can be obtained at www.unionplus.org/assistance. Certain administrative responsibilities for the Plan have been delegated to Union Privilege. Union Privilege is the non-profit organization established to create and oversee member benefit programs for working families. Grants may not be offered in every state. Coverage may be underwritten and managed by companies that are not affiliated with MasterCard,(r) Visa(r) or Capital One, N.A.

 

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