About the Indiana State AFL-CIO:
The Indiana State AFL-CIO is the state federation of labor representing more than 300,000 members of 800 local unions across the state belonging to 50 International Unions.
Indiana State AFL-CIO Mission Statement:
The mission of the Indiana State AFL-CIO is to improve the lives of working families — to bring economic justice to the workplace and social justice to our state and the nation. To accomplish this mission, we work to:
- Build a broad movement of Indiana workers by helping workers join and form unions.
- Support Indiana workers as they bargain with employers to improve their living conditions and workplaces, as well as their communities, state and nation.
- Strengthen the voice of Indiana working families at all levels of government and in a changing global economy.
The Indiana State AFL-CIO is a key part of the nation's largest and strongest labor federation—the AFL-CIO, which unites millions working women and men of every race and ethnicity and from every walk of life.
Indiana State AFL-CIO Affiliates:
Amalgamated Transit Union
American Federation of Government Employees
American Federation of Musicians
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees
American Federation of Teachers
American Postal Workers Union
Association of Flight Attendants
Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers' International Union
Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen
Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees
Communications Workers of America
Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics and Allied Workers International Union
Graphic Communications International Union
International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees
International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers
International Association of Fire Fighters
International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Asbestos Workers
International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers
International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers
International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers
International Union of Electrical Workers
International Union of Elevator Constructors
International Union of Operating Engineers
International Union of Painters and Allied Trades
International Union of Police Associations
Laborers' International Union of North America
Metal Polishers Union
National Association of Letter Carriers
National Air Traffic Controllers Association
Office and Professional Employees International Union
Operative Plasterers' and Cement Masons' International Association
Professional Airways, Systems Specialists Union
Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union
Service Employees International Union
Sheet Metal Workers International Association
Transport Workers Union of America
United Brotherhood of Carpenters
United Food and Commercial Workers Union
United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada
United Mine Workers of America
United Transportation Union
United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers
Utility Workers Union of America
Unions 101: A Quick Study of How Unions Help Workers Win a Voice on the Job
What is a union?
A union is a group of workers who form an organization to gain:
* Respect on the job,
* Better wages and benefits,
* More flexibility for work and family needs,
* A counterbalance to the unchecked power of employers, and
* A voice in improving the quality of their products and services.
How do people form a union?
When workers decide they want to come together to improve their jobs, they work with a union to help them form their own local chapter. Once a majority of workers shows they want a union, sometimes employers honor the workers’ choice. Often, the workers must ask the government to hold an election. If the workers win their union, they negotiate a contract with the employer that spells out each party’s rights and responsibilities in the workplace.
Does the law protect workers joining unions?
It’s supposed to—but too often it doesn’t. Under the law, employers are not allowed to discriminate against or fire workers for choosing to join a union. For example, it’s illegal for employers to threaten to shut down their businesses or to fire employees or take away benefits if workers form a union. However, employers routinely violate these laws, and the penalties are weak or nonexistent.
What kinds of workers are forming unions today?
A wider range of people than ever before, including many women and immigrants, is joining unions—doctors and nurses, poultry workers and graduate employees, home health care aides and wireless communications workers, auto parts workers and engineers, to name a few.
How do unions help working families today?
Through unions, workers win better wages, benefits and a voice on the job—and good union jobs mean stronger communities. Union workers earn 30 percent more than nonunion workers and are more likely to receive health care and pension benefits than those without a union. In 2007, median weekly earnings for full-time union wage and salary workers were $863, compared with $663 for their nonunion counterparts. Unions lead the fight today for better lives for working people, such as through expanded family and medical leave, improved safety and health protections and fair-trade agreements that lift the standard of living for workers all over the world.
What have unions accomplished for all workers?
Unions have made life better for all working Americans by helping to pass laws ending child labor, establishing the eight-hour day, protecting workers’ safety and health and helping create Social Security, unemployment insurance and the minimum wage, for example. Unions are continuing the fight today to improve life for all working families in America.
What challenges do workers face today when they want to form unions?
Today, thousands of workers want to join unions. The wisest employers understand that when workers form unions, their companies also benefit. But most employers fight workers’ efforts to come together by intimidating, harassing and threatening them. In response, workers are reaching out to their communities for help exercising their freedom to improve their lives.