Want to Start a Union?

It's our job to help with that.

No matter your questions, we're here to answer them and serve you.
No experience with unions? No problem. You can start a union at almost any company as long as you and your coworkers decide your job would be better with a union to back you up.

What is a Union?

Our Benefits

See the benefits of being a member of the UFCW.

Our Members

Hear from our members why they love UFCW.

Our Victories

See what we’ve been up to!

Your Questions

Learn more about the process of starting a union.

Our Benefits

A union is a proven way to make your job better. When you have a union, you and your coworkers get to have a say in your wages, schedule, vacation policy, retirement plan, store safety, and anything else that impacts your life at work.

UFCW Union Advantage
With a Union
No Union
Better wages and regular raises
The ability to come together with your coworkers to negotiate your pay and benefits
Guaranteed hours and stable schedules
Affordable healthcare with coverage for prescriptions, dental and vision
Free college for you and your family
More paid vacation, holidays, and sick days
A dispute procedure that legally protects you against unfair discipline or dismissal
Protections against any harassment from management
Secure retirement and pension benefits
Seniority rights when it comes to scheduling, vacation and job security
Discounts on home & life insurance, travel, car rental, legal services, cell phones, and more
Respect in your workplace
Must accept unfair or unjust discipline

What's It Like To Start A Union?

Are you and your coworkers ready to negotiate together for bigger paychecks, stronger benefits and better lives? If you are, the steps to joining the UFCW are simple.

Hover over the images below to learn more.
Step 1

Step 1: Talk to Your Coworkers

A union is when workers join together to improve their jobs. Talk to your coworkers about wages, benefits and working conditions to see if they want to make them better, too.

Step 2

Step 2: Talk to a Union Organizer

No matter your questions, we’re here to answer them and serve you. From learning how you can start a union to better understanding all the steps involved in negotiating a contract, we want you to have all the information you need.

If not, that's okay too! There's still plenty to learn. Go ahead to step #3.
Step 3

Step 3: Start a Committee

With the help of a Union Organizer, you and your coworkers will build an organizing committee. This will be the key group of leaders at your workplace who feel strongest about the need to organize. Your committee will then work together to get more coworkers involved with the effort to win a union contract that makes everyone’s job better.

Step 4a

Step 4: Know Your Rights

Unions like the UFCW will bring you more control over your wages, benefits and workplace conditions. Companies would rather keep that control for themselves, so they often try to discourage employees from starting a union. Don’t worry, it is your right, protected by federal labor law, to start a union. You have the right to talk to your coworkers about starting a union and about workplace conditions, including pay.

Step 5

Step 5: Sign Union Support Cards

Once a majority of your coworkers agree on the need to have a union, you will sign support cards. These cards declare that you want to start a union and have the UFCW as your partner at work to help negotiate better wages, benefits and working conditions.

Step 6

Step 6: Vote!

Once a majority of your coworkers have signed union support cards, they are submitted to the National Labor Relations Board to request a union election. This part can take several weeks as the Board decides on an election date and determines who at your workplace can vote. If a majority of your coworkers vote YES at your election, your employer now has to recognize your union and bargain with you and your coworkers.

Step 7

Step 7: Negotiate Your Contract

Congratulations! It’s time to get the benefits you deserve! UFCW and our negotiating team will begin working with you and your coworkers to negotiate your first union contract. You and your coworkers will have the opportunity to vote on the contract before it is finalized to ensure it has the benefits and value you deserve. After you’ve won your first contract, you can officially obtain UFCW membership!

Our Members

My union contract guarantees that I wasn’t penalized when I took maternity leave. When I returned to work my union made sure the company gave me my annual wage increase that I missed while on leave.

- Melissa Gutierrez, UFCW Local 1428, Rite Aid
Melissa Gutierrez
Mary-Tutt

I use the movie discounts all the time and get 50% off my gym membership, which I use to play basketball with my kids. And I’m even looking into getting my degree with the free college program.

- Mary Tutt, Local 222, Seaboard Triumph Foods

We are going to have a voice at work. We work hard and we are asking for recognition, better pay, benefits, and a more predictable work schedule that allows us to better plan our lives.

- Keona Johnson, UFCW Local 368A, Albertsons
Dylan Urrutia and Keona Johnson
grocery icon
GROCERY
retail icon
RETAIL
packing & processing icon
PACKING & PROCESSING

UFCW organizes these major industries

chemical worker icon
CHEMICAL
healthcare icon
HEALTHCARE
cannabis icon
CANNABIS
We believe that success should be shared and that employees should be able to join together to improve their life, their job, and the company they work for.

UFCW organizes these major industries

We believe that success should be shared and that employees should be able to join together to improve their life, their job, and the company they work for.
grocery icon
GROCERY
retail icon
RETAIL
packing & processing icon
PACKING & PROCESSING
chemical worker icon
CHEMICAL
healthcare icon
HEALTHCARE
cannabis icon
CANNABIS

Our Victories

UFCW International and UFCW Locals have been negotiating with employers across the country to recognize how hard grocery, healthcare, and retail employees are working to provide necessary food and supplies to their communities during the coronavirus pandemic.