Tired of pay or working conditions? You’re not alone

It is not surprising that there is unrest in the workplace.

It is said that wages have not kept up with the times Institute for Economic PolicyProductivity has grown almost four times faster than wages from 1979 to 2021.

As union members in the Writers Guild of America and Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists If you’re striking for fair pay structures and working conditions, it may be time to join forces with your peers to start a revolution too.

“We’re seeing people coming together to get stronger in numbers, and that seems to underscore the need for change even more,” said Chris Deaver, co-founder of leadership consulting firm BraveCore and co-author of “Brave Together: Guided by Design, Stimulating Creativity, and the Future.” design with the power of co-creation” (McGraw Hill, out December 5). “We can all spark bold conversations. And they are powerful. Anyone can do that. People who don’t share their voice can count on nothing changing.”

Anita Hollander, a 67-year-old actress, singer, composer and director of Hell’s Kitchen and national chair of the SAG-AFTRA committee for artists with disabilities, said, “I’m on the picket line and I’ve got a leg!” I’ve been in the for 40 years union, but this is the first time on the picket line I’ve felt the power we have. We are influencers in our own way – we stick with what we do, speak our minds, stand up for our rights and don’t back down until we make progress.”

Anita Hollander
“This is the first time I’ve felt in the picket line the power we have,” said Anita Hollander, SAG-AFTRA national chair.
Kia Michelle Benbow

Regardless of whether you belong to a union or not, workers have rights and power.

The National Industrial Relations Act is a federal law that gives workers the right to form or join labor unions.

The National Industrial Relations Committeean independent federal agency dedicated to protecting workers’ right to associate to achieve better working conditions and more, describes a simple process for forming a union: start a petition, collect signatures, and then secure a vote.

“The National Labor Relations Act generally protects non-executive private sector employees (union or non-union) from being fired for having consulted management about working conditions in a coordinated manner,” said Joshua Hawks of Hartford, Connecticut. Ladds, co-chairman of the law firm Pullman & Comley‘s Labor, Employment Law and Worker Benefits Practice and notes that the NLRA generally does not apply to managers.

People were seen carrying signs that read
People were seen carrying signs that read “SAG-AFTRA on strike” at a striking picket line of actors in New York City.
Michael Brochstein/ZUMA / SplashNews.com

In New York, there is another level of protection: a whistleblowing labor law prohibits employer retaliation.

For example, if you’re a non-exempt hourly worker and are entitled to overtime pay for the hours you work, but don’t receive it and are fired on a grievance, Hawks-Ladds says, “That triggers state and federal retaliation laws.”

Andrew Lieb, employment attorney and managing partner of a discrimination, employment and real estate litigation law firm love in law in Smithtown, LI recommended that you evaluate your situation by researching the laws (federal, state, city, and local) and implement a strategy rather than acting first. Talking to an employment lawyer is the key to insight.

There are pros and cons to consider when forming a union.

SAG-AFTRA members demonstrate in front of the Paramount offices in Times Square in New York City.
SAG-AFTRA members demonstrate in front of the Paramount offices in Times Square in New York City.
Derek French/Shutterstock

According to Lieb, if you want to sue your employer and you belong to a union, you often have less time to sue or can only settle for mandatory arbitration.

You may not need to unionize.

When you have a work issue, your immediate course of action is usually to speak impartially with Human Resources or the General Counsel.

If the talks aren’t going well, consult a lawyer about resigning and then making legal claims against the employer.

Lieb, who sees a lot of issues around unpaid leave and an hour and a half, said: “You might find that the employer wants to do what you want to do anyway. I wouldn’t go in with guns blazing unless you have a lawsuit and plan to file it. Employers are very concerned about morale.”

Additionally, it’s important for employers to keep lines of communication open and raise concerns quickly and fairly by building a “compliance culture” so employees can raise concerns with management.

“Without that kind of culture, small, solvable problems can grow into big problems,” Hawks-Ladds said.

However, there could be an escalation if a union member is not properly paid. Hawks-Ladds said: “A union will immediately lodge a grievance under the contract. Since a strike can only really happen to unionized workers after a mandatory contractual process has failed, employers without unionized workers are more interested in retaining talent and ensuring their employees are happy and productive members of the team than employees” strike”. ”

A strike is usually a last-ditch effort after all else has failed, especially considering that striking workers put their careers on hold and lose their wages indefinitely.

“You can negotiate wages, working hours and working conditions, and you can go on strike with it,” said Lieb. “A strike is war. It’s a tool in your arsenal – you want that impact on the employer – but it’s not what anyone wants.”

For Hollander, however, the short-term sacrifice is worth the potential benefits.

“We’re likely to gain more than we lost, including wages, balances, health insurance and more accessibility and inclusion,” she said. “I would strongly recommend that we all stick together because, as so often in history, the more of us ‘show up in unity,’ the more power we have at the negotiating table.”

Caroline Bleakley

Caroline Bleakley is a USTimeToday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Caroline Bleakley joined USTimeToday in 2022 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with Caroline Bleakley by emailing carolinebleakley@ustimetoday.com.

Related Articles

Back to top button