BLACKSBURG, Va. (WFXR) — The conversation about workers unionizing continues to grow.
Nationwide, employees at Starbucks have banded together demanding the company allow them to unionize for better working conditions.
In the Commonwealth, some education associations want to unionize teachers.
President of the Virginia Education Association Dr. James Fedderman says the major benefit is the collective voice for a common goal, but there are some downsides.
One personal finance blog, Vittana, broke down the pros and cons of unions and says one of the biggest challenges is that workers have to pay a portion of their salary for union dues.
However, Fedderman says one of the challenges he sees is that some workers do not understand unions.
He adds misinformation about unions is an issue when it comes to understanding collective bargaining — when a group of people negotiate wages and other conditions.
“For example, an educator will have the ability to bargain their lunchtime, not in a manner to get more lunch but just to ensure they are able to have lunch,” explained Fedderman.
During the last Montgomery County School Board meeting, some community members spoke up, saying that they are not interested in bringing unions to the area.
“You are going to be turning over your responsibilities to them in dealing and building our school system. That makes it very hard because you are not going to be able to provide programs and some of the things you want to provide,” said Randy Wertz, a Christiansburg resident.
Fedderman says otherwise.
“It really ensures that issues that either side is passionate about that they have an opportunity to bring those items to the table for a very robust conversation,” said Fedderman.
If you do not want to join a union in Virginia, you’ll be relieved to know it is left up to the worker if they want to join or stay out of it.