More than half of U.S. workers—nearly 60 million—say they would join a union today if they could.
America’s working people are struggling to make ends meet and our middle class is disappearing. The best opportunity for working men and women to get ahead economically is by uniting with co-workers to bargain with their employers for better wages and benefits. Workers who belong to unions earn 30 percent more than nonunion workers. They are 62 percent more likely to have employer-provided health coverage and four times more likely to have pensions.
The Chicago Federation of Labor is the central labor council of the AFL-CIO. We represent over 300 local unions with jurisdiction in Cook County. These unions collectively represent approximately 500,000 working men and women employed in virtually every industry and trade in our area.
Union organizers assist employees in forming unions on the job to give them the same opportunity for dignity and respect, good wages and decent working conditions that union members already have. Fill out the form below to get in touch with a union organizer.
How to Form a Union
When you and your co-workers come together to form a union, you get the right to negotiate with your employer over wages, benefits and working conditions.
No matter what the industry you are in, or the labor law that covers it, the process for forming a union is similar.
- Get together with your co-workers who may share a common interest in organizing a union.
- Talk to a union organizer in order to strategize and to learn the next steps.
- Talk to your co-workers to build support for the union.
- Show that support through an election or a card-check once you have a strong majority.
Once your union is official, you’ll choose your leaders and negotiate a contract. The process is democratic, and the more inclusive you can be, the stronger your union will be.
Know Your Rights!
Federal and state laws guarantee the right to form unions! Eligible employees have the right to express their views on unions, to talk with their co-workers about their interest in forming a union, to wear union buttons, to attend union meetings and in many other ways to exercise their constitutional rights to freedom of speech and freedom of association.*
Despite these laws, many employers strongly resist their employees’ efforts to gain a voice at work through unionization. So, before you start talking union where you work, contact us so that we can help you get in touch with a union that will help you organize.