What is a Union?

The SIU of Canada has been able to recruit many new Members to our ranks over the past year, and with that, many of our newer Members are unaware of how a union works, what a union does, and how your union can help you. Below is the basics of the work we do.

A labour union is an organization that acts as an intermediary between our members and the business that employs them. The main purpose of labour unions is to give workers the power to negotiate for more favorable working conditions and other benefits through collective bargaining. Unionized employees generally have a lot more power in the employment relationship, and a lot more job protection, than their non-unionized friends.

Throughout history, most of the working conditions that we value were won by workers and their unions standing shoulder to shoulder. Paid sick days, weekends, benefits, and more were all won by workers banding together through their Union to demand change to make work more enjoyable and worthwhile.

When workers unite, they make things better for everyone. That’s why unions were created to stand up together for fair wages, safe workplaces and decent work hours. There are millions of union members in Canada who know that by standing together, they can accomplish great things for themselves and all workers.

Unions also help advocate and implement meaningful change at the government level as well, by lobbying provincial, federal and international governments and politicians to ensure policies are put in place and upheld that help working people in Canada. The SIU of Canada has long been a leading voice within the Government of Canada to ensure the voices of Canadian seafarers are heard loud and clear and are not forgotten by the government in power. The SIU has helped to ensure the stability of Canadian Cabotage, which ensures that vessels operating within Canadian waters MUST employ Canadian seafarers to do the job, which has helped protect the jobs of thousands of our Members.

In order to function properly, members of the union must participate and stay connected with their union to ensure a united front and solidarity on issues that may be impacting their work. SIU of Canada Members are encouraged to stay up to date with your Union on Facebook, Instagram, Email and our website so that we can all have our voices heard. We are nothing if we are not standing together on the issues that matter to us! We are stronger together.

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