Question: Can a union keep me from getting fired from my job?
Answer: No. Unionized workers are fired from unionized workplaces all the time.
One of the common fallacies about unions is that, if you violate a company policy, you cannot be fired. This is not true.
Most companies (union and non-union alike) have employee rules of conduct that, if violated, may cause an employee to be disciplined “up to and including discharge.”
In fact, in most unionized companies, rules are something that are strictly enforced.
This is why, if you become unionized, you may find that your employer suddenly stops treating you as an individual, flexibility seems to go away, and rules become enforced more frequently.
The reason for this is that unionized employees and employers must adhere to a set of rules as spelled out in company policies and union contracts.
BEING UNIONIZED DOES NOT MEAN YOU GET THE BEST REPRESENTATION:
Many of today’s union members share the mistaken belief that although the union is their representative, the union must represent them ‘to their liking.’
If you are a unionized worker, while the union may be your legal representative, the union does NOT have to file a grievance on your behalf if the union feels that the firing is warranted, or if it chooses not to spend other members’ money on your behalf.
As a result, every year, thousands of unionized workers who are fired from their jobs file charges with the National Labor Relations Board against their union alleging the union has ‘failed to represent’ them by not filing grievances to try to save their jobs.
The majority of these charges get dismissed due to the NLRB’s acknowledgement that a union does not have to file a union member’s grievance, merely because the union member feels it should.