The Union Advantage

As a member of a union you will earn higher wages than non-union workers will.  In most occupations union workers earn 34 percent more than non-union workers do.  Unions have health care benefits, retirement plans, and short-term disability benefits and in many cases, an annuity and/or vacation plans.  Non-union workers often do not receive these benefits, and those that do are completely at the employers discretion.

As a union worker you will be working under collective bargaining agreements - ratified by the membership - that emphasize equal pay and fair treatment.  That means that every Ironworker – male, female, minority, white – all receive the same pay and opportunities.  Additionally, union workers are better trained, have lower turnover, and share in decision making.  In other words, you have a voice on the job!

As a member of the Ironworkers Union you will become a member of the AFL-CIO federation of unions whose membership totals more than 13 million.  The AFL-CIO helps workers and unions combine strength and work together to improve the lives of America’s working families, bring fairness and dignity to the workplace and secure social and economic equity in our nation.

Apprentices earn while they learn

Apprenticeship classes are generally conducted after normal working hours to allow apprentices to gain on-the-job experience and bring home a respectable wage while they are in training.  Some areas, however, provide classes during working hours.  In some instances the apprentice may have to attend classes on Saturday.

As an apprentice gains more skill throughout training, the pay for the work performed becomes higher.  Starting pay is approximately 60 percent of a Journeyman’s wage (the starting wage depends on the Local collective bargaining agreement) and as you accumulate an established number of on-the-job hours, wages are increased at regular intervals, usually every six months.  At the end of the term of apprenticeship, you graduate to Journeyman status and will receive full pay for the skills you have attained.