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Find a Unionized Job

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Take a look at labor unions to find your next job. Roughly 13 million workers belong to unions. Union members work in almost every kind of job in every industry.

You may already know that many jobs in manufacturing, transportation, and construction are unionized. But jobs in teaching, communications, broadcast, health care, and government are too.

If you work in a job that has a union contract, you are likely to earn significantly more money than in a non-union job. This is true in nearly all occupations. Overall, union workers earn 30% more than nonunion workers. African-Americans earn 36% more. If you are a woman, you'll earn 31% more. And Latino union workers earn 46% more.

Union workers are also more likely to have guaranteed pensions, health care benefits, short-term disability coverage, and life insurance.

In 2006:

  • Hourly workers not in unions earned $642 a week, compared with $833 for workers represented by union.
  • Only 14% of nonunion workers had employer-provided pension coverage, compared with 68% of workers in unions.
  • Some 80% of workers in unions had health care coverage, compared with 49% of nonunion workers.

You can read more about jobs, wages and the global economy on the AFL-CIO's Web site.

And read more about the advantages of union jobs on the AFL-CIO site:

Find a Union Job


To join a union, your job must be with an employer that has a labor contract with a union.

If you are looking for a job, inquire with employers where unions exist. If such an employer hires you, the union contract covers the work agreements between the employees and the employer. In some states, called "right to work" states, unions must represent all workers, even those who do not pay union dues.

There is no one source for looking for a unionized job. So, here are some ideas for searching:

  • Find companies and organizations that have union contracts.


    First, find a union that covers jobs in your field. Then, search the union's Web site for the list of companies it has contracted with. (Click here for a list of AFL-CIO affiliated unions.) Add these companies to your job search list. If you get interviews, ask about what the union contract covers.

    NOTE: Be aware that company lists on union Web sites do not always include many details on employers. You may still have some research to do. Ask the Career One-Stop Center or library in your community for help.

  • Use online union job banks.

    The Web sites of some unions have job banks for jobs in specific industries. (Click here for a list of AFL-CIO affiliated unions.)


    You can also try a Google search for union jobs to see if you can find more openings.

  • Attend a labor council meeting in your community and ask about openings in unionized jobs.

    The AFL-CIO is a federation of more than 60 labor unions. Union members hold regular local council meetings. These are open to the public. By attending these meetings, you can meet people who may know of job openings or who can tell you what you need to search for a local unionized job. See the AFL-CIO site for information about state and local union movements.

  • The AFL-CIO Working for America Institute offers services in support of the Job Coach, an interactive web-based tool that is designed to help workers engaged in a job search. These services help unions address lay-offs and job loss constructively, with a focus on the concerns and experience of the affected workers.
     

Additional Resources

  • Find a union in your field. Some unions advertise job openings on their Web sites.
  • Local Union Movements: Find your local labor council meeting. Go to ask about job openings.
  • Union Jobs lists jobs available at international and local unions.
  • IUPAJobs.org, is the official career center for International Union of Police Associations (AFL-CIO) and is operated in a joint partnership with LawEnforcementJobs.com 

 

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