Dispelling Union Myths

Union members sometimes find themselves challenged by coworkers with preconceived opinions or honest misunderstandings about what unions are and the work we do. On this page, we’ll dispel common union myths and misconceptions among our members. If you have a heard a ‘union myth’ that we haven’t covered here, let us know!


Union Myth 1: I am forced to join a union.

No person is forced to join a union. It is illegal to make any employee be a member of a union, or to have a ‘closed shop.’ Bargaining unit positions are advertised as bargaining unit positions when the job is advertised. These positions ARE covered by your union, regardless of whether or not you are a member. Due to this, your fellow union members may have voted to implement a ‘fair share’ clause into your collective bargaining agreement. This contract was bargained for and voted upon by your fellow union members. Fair Share means that you, as an employee in a union covered position, are required to pay dues as a condition of employment after completing a one year probation.

Being a union member, you get to have a voice in the direction of the union. If you do not agree with anything that is in the union contract, you have the right to become active within the union, including becoming a steward, joining the bargaining team, sitting on the executive board, chairing a union committee, and voting on contract ratifications.


Union Myth 2: Unions don’t affect my retirement plan or benefits.

Unions discuss retirement and benefits constantly. Unions have a long history of fighting for and winning pensions and retirements. Unionized workers are 60% more likely to have employer-provided pensions. Here in the State of New Mexico, CWA has been instrumental in ensuring that budget cuts do not affect workers retirement plans and that the retirement money is being properly managed. Other benefits are also constantly being fought for and guaranteed in our contracts. Increased safety standards, fair over time distribution, and defined paid leave are just a few of the many benefits that the Union has guaranteed.

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