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Union Members Live Better!

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) represents members who work in a wide variety of fields, including telecommunications, utilities, construction, broadcasting, manufacturing, railroads and government.

The IBEW stands out among the unions in the AFL-CIO because it is among the largest and has members in so many skilled occupations.

As union members, we bargain collectively with our employers over wages, benefits, and rights.  We have the best chance of receiving better wages, benefits and fair treatment in the workplace by bargaining collectively as a union. Most of us have very limited bargaining power as one person, but as a group, we are strong. With a negotiated contract, we have legal protections we would not have otherwise.

To find out more about the IBEW and our history visit our Internationals web page by clicking here.

If you would like to find out more about IBEW Local 21 and how you and your coworkers could improve your working conditions contact IBEW Local Union Business Representative Dave Webster by clicking here or call him in our Union Hall at 630-960-4466 ext 449.


Commonly Asked Questions

What's a union?

•    A union is an organization of two or more employees who band together as one to collectively bargain with employers to secure written agreements for employees about pay, benefits, and working conditions.

•    Unions represent employees in disciplinary processes, lobby for laws and regulations that protect working families at all levels of government, and offer a range of member services to help employees outside of the workplace.

Why join a union?

•    Unions are the only avenue for workers to have a collective bargaining agreement. Without a collective bargaining agreement, employees have almost no rights in U.S. workplaces. Employers can make up work rules and arbitrarily decide on disciplinary procedures as they go along. A non-union employer can often fire an employee without cause, unless an employee proves they were illegally discriminated or retaliated against.

What is a collective bargaining agreement?

•    Collective bargaining agreements are legally enforceable contracts holding employers and employees to mutually agreed-to workplace rules and processes. They are intended to provide a fair and just workplace by clarifying and outlining clear expectations for employees.

•    Collective bargaining agreements typically contain a clause requiring an employer to show "just cause" – which is a provable, legitimate reason – for disciplining and/or firing an employee, ensuring employees have a formal channel of due process to defend themselves and reducing chances that workplaces practices are not unlawful, discriminatory, or arbitrary.

What laws regulate unions and collective bargaining?

•    The National Labor Relations Act governs union organizing and collective bargaining for most of the private sector. It includes protections for workers against employers and unions and is enforced by the National Labor Relations Board.

Find out more about your legal rights by visiting the National Labor Relations Board webpage by clicking here.

You can find out more information about unions by visiting American Rights at Work by clicking here and at the AFL-CIO by clicking here.


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Page Last Updated: Jun 27, 2012 (08:48:00)
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