May 2013

What Can A Union Shop Do For You

Doug Wolf was a non-union shop fabricator specializing in handrails and staircases when I met him back in 2007. He worked for a non-union fabricator for 16 years. He made $15 an hour, no pension, no 401k, health care benefits were unaffordable, no job security and was basically working for a weekly check. Doug is a single parent raising his 9-year-old daughter Autumn.

Doug came from Spiral Stairs of America, a non-union shop, back in 2007 under an organizing campaign. He began his career as a union member for DHSteel Company on February 19, 2007. Since that day, Doug has become a very active member of Local 468 (Cleveland), has earned the respect of his fellow workers, and represents them as an assistant steward.

Doug’s daughter Autumn had major complications with her hearing at a very young age and Doug was unable to give her the necessary medical attention due to high deductibles and unaffordable health care premiums as a non-union worker. Since becoming a union member, Doug and Autumn enjoy health care benefits, which have afforded her the opportunity to receive proper medical attention she needed in order to hear and enabled her to speak freely again.

Under a collective bargaining agreement, Doug not only enjoys a good health care plan, he also has a union pension, makes $18.25 per hour for his talents, paid holidays, vacation time and profit sharing, along with a great deal more that he never had the opportunity to enjoy during his 16 years as a non-union fabricator.

Doug is a great asset to DHSteel Company and the Iron Workers Union. I wish him and Autumn all the best. Remember, “Don’t take for granted what we enjoy every day as union members because there’s always someone out there in the workforce less fortunate than us.” Our forefathers fought long and hard with a vision so we could enjoy and provide for our families. By sticking together and fighting for our beliefs, there is nothing we can not accomplish.