When people think of labor unions and their “representation,” they usually think about collective bargaining at the negotiating table, or organizing to represent workers at a particular worksite, or even representing a worker in a grievance or contract enforcement process.
When Local 1000 talks about “representation,” it means all of those things and much more.
When we refer to representation, we are talking about bringing people together based on a common vision of how things should be. We know that people who come together for a common purpose grow power, and it takes power to change anything. Local 1000 understands that our representation at a worksite directly impacts the workplace, but it also ripples out to impact our members’ families and their communities.
For instance, the contract we negotiated for our members allows workers time off to vote, to work the election polls, to participate in established mentoring programs, to donate blood or organ transplants, and to engage in important family activities, among many other things. Certainly these contract provisions allow our members to hold fruitful and satisfying employment, but they also allow them to live balanced, happy lives, because they can perform their civic duties, physically and emotionally support their families, and raise up their communities toward betterment.
Our representation also extends beyond our members’ lives. Some of the most important work we do is about representing working families everywhere in their struggles to survive constant attack and their need to be lifted above a system that unfairly diverts prosperity and opportunity to only the most wealthy.