Worker: Union dues made job unaffordable

Testimony makes case for worker-choice

In October of 2007, I joined Quality Food Center as my part-time job. When I started work, the management at Q.F.C. failed to tell me that I would be obligated to be a member of U.F.C.W. Local 21. Despite my dislike for unions, I originally put up with it because I needed money.

Every month Local 21 would take $22.50 out of my checks. Although my original wage was $8.25 an hour, I would have to work a lot more just so I could make minimum wage after union dues. I realized that a non-union worker earning minimum wage makes the full $8.07 an hour, required by the state of Washington; on the other hand, a Local 21 worker would have to work 125 hours per month just to average $8.07 an hour, after the union fee.

The results may equal minimum wage but the hours to reach that point are too substantial. Plus, Q.F.C. wouldn't let me work more than 30 hours a week. On a monthly rate, I couldn't work more than 120 hours.

If I had a maximum schedule, I would still be short five hours of making minimum wage. Therefore, as a Q.F.C. employee, it was impossible to make minimum wage. During my union days, Local 21 took two "initiation" fees ($75 apiece) from two of my checks. After one had been deducted the $75, my hourly wage amount added up to $3.67 per hour; and after my other check had been decreased from the "initiation" fee my hourly wage was a meek $0.17 per hour. I eventually quit my job; the reason was 100 percent Local 21.

Jeffers Baxter, Mukilteo, WA


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yeah this worker has a choice... Dont accept a job at a Union Shop. The workers there before he got there voted the Union in. Why do these anti union types work at a Union shop then bad mouth it. You think this is a case for worker choice? The choice was made by the workers. All the existing workers are supposed to listen to this dude as he crys about Unions. Tell him to pack it. Go work at a non Union store.

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