A Millennial’s View of UFCW Membership

A young UFCW member, who works at a grocery store, explains the downsides of union membership.

Unions cost money to run, and unless you live in a right-to-work state, there is no way you can opt-out of paying dues if you have a unionized workplace.

Every week, about an hour’s worth of pay is taken out of my paycheck to cover my mandatory union dues. If you only work 20 hours, since most service industry jobs are part time, dues can be a whole 5 percent of your paycheck, on top of taxes.

If your union workplace operates on fixed pay schedules based on how long you have been employed, like mine does, that means that no matter how hard you work, you will always make less money than people who have been there longer, even if you are more productive and do a better job. This becomes even more frustrating when you end up being saddled with more work to make up for the bad employees who can’t be fired. (When the grocery store chain I work at tried to give some merit-based raises to hard-working employees, the UFCW sued to stop it.)