The ranks of SMART production workers are 20,000-plus strong across Canada and the United States. Our members weld, fabricate, operate material handling machinery, and assemble – we produce building enclosure components, air movement equipment, refrigeration and cooking appliances, electric vehicles, corrugated steel culverts, chemical and liquid storage tanks, metal dump trailers, and many more products.
Why Become a SMART Production Worker?
The SMART Union defends the rights of its members to a voice on the job, dignity at work, and a seat across from the boss at the bargaining table. We will fight alongside you for a Union Contract that holds your employer accountable for higher wages, retirement benefits, and affordable health insurance, seniority and job posting rights, and your ability hold your employer to standards of fairness and equity.
A Seat at the Table
When you have a Union, your boss must bargain fairly with you and your co-workers over a Union labor contract that covers wages, work hours, and conditions of work. In a factory without a Union, workers get only what the boss is willing to give them. With a Union, management must bargain over guaranteed rates of pay, holidays, shifts, health benefits, paid breaks, posted jobs, a method for resolving disputes, and more.
Union contracts provide seniority rights that honor length of service at work and are also an unbiased way of making decisions. With a seniority system, the boss no longer decides who gets job postings and vacation and overtime preference, who gets laid off and who continues working, and what shifts you will work.
When you have a Union contract, your boss must have a fair and even-handed reason to discipline you – they must have Just Cause. Without a labor contract, management is not required to explain themselves or to have a reason to suspend or terminate a worker. Just Cause requires management to investigate fairly, follow rules, and have valid reasons to discipline. Union members can work without fear of being blind-sided with arbitrary discipline by management.
Grievance and Arbitration Process
When management violates Union member rights, the contract provides a method for resolving disputes. In non-Union shops, workers literally have nowhere to go with complaints. With the Union’s grievance and arbitration process, disputes can be ultimately placed in front of a fair, impartial arbitrator to render judgement. And the boss must abide by the ruling of the arbitrator.
The SMART Union is a democratic organization that depends on the participation and service of its members. When your Union bargains, your fellow workers elected as committee members represent you. When your Union represents you on a grievance, your fellow workers elected as stewards represent you. All your Union representatives are democratically elected from the membership. You can vote, and you can also be elected.
When you have a Union, your boss must listen to you on safety issues. Injuries and workplace deaths are higher in non-union shops – workers there have lack protection from the boss if they make complaints, and so they let safety issues go. In a Union shop, safety issues can be subject to grievance and arbitration. The SMART Union educates its members on safety, and we demand placement on our employers’ safety committees.