Can a Non-Union Employee Work a Union Job?
Union jobs traditionally come with added hours, benefits and job security that non-union jobs lack, leading many non-union workers to try to transfer to union positions. Though the process may take more time and effort than moving between non-union jobs, it is possible for a non-union worker to obtain union employment.
Understanding the Union Structure
Unions work by grouping employees into a single collective. This allows union employees to negotiate better benefits, job safety and higher wages from employers. To do so, unions typically require membership fees or dues from all members. When a non-union worker applies for a union job, he will likely be required to become a union member as well.
Union Job Opportunities for Non-Union Employees
- Volunteer: Unions often choose new members from among the volunteers who take part in union-related activities and jobs. Volunteering allows non-union workers to understand the union’s structure and objectives, while at the same time demonstrating a willingness to help the union. Upon completion of the volunteering, the union may consider accepting the volunteer as a member.
- Performance: Non-union employees who demonstrate reliability, loyalty and high performance levels on the job may be more likely to gain union membership. As compliance with union rules is required for membership, consistency and responsible behavior are often seen as important qualities.
- Networking: Many unions rely on existing members to help recruit new members. Networking with existing union workers, when appropriate, is a great way for non-union workers to gain insight into the union’s structure and goals. It may also create an opening or opportunity when a union job arises.
Though becoming a union member may take time and effort, such membership can open up doors for many non-union employees, allowing them to transfer to union positions. With insight into the union’s structure, motivation, cooperative efforts and networking with existing members, non-union workers may be well on their way to gaining union employment.