Q: What is a union?


Unions are about a simple proposition: By joining together, working women and men gain strength in numbers so they can have a voice at work about what they care about. They negotiate a contract with their employer for things like a fair and safe workplace, better wages, a secure retirement and family-friendly policies such as paid sick leave and scheduling hours. They have a voice in how their jobs get done, creating a more stable, productive workforce that provides better services and products. Always adapting to the challenges of our nation's evolving workforce, unions are meeting the needs of workers in today's flexible and nontraditional work environments. By building power in unions, workers can speak out for fairness for all working people in their communities and create standards and a strong middle class across the country. Click here to learn more about the difference a union makes.  

Q: Is the Metro Detroit AFL-CIO a union?

No. We are an umbrella group that includes dozens of local labor unions in Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne counties. We are happy to assist you in contacting your union, but the Metro Detroit AFL-CIO is not a union itself.


Q: How do I join or form a union?

STEP 1: Know Your Rights

Federal and state laws guarantee the right to form unions. Eligible employees have the right to express their views on unions, to talk with their co-workers about their interest in forming a union, to wear union buttons and to attend union meetings. (Supervisors and a few other types of employees customarily are excluded from coverage.)

Despite these laws, many employers strongly resist their employees’ efforts to gain a voice at work through unionization. So, before you start talking union where you work, get in touch with a union that will help you organize.

STEP 2: Find Out Which Union Is Right for You

To form a union on the job, you need the backup and hands-on help from the union you are seeking to join. If you don’t already know which union is most able to help you, find out more about the unions affiliated with us! You can also call us here at the office at 313.961.0800 and we'll connect you to the right people. 

STEP 3: Find Out About Working America

If forming a union with your coworkers isn’t a real possibility for you, you can still be a part of the union movement by joining Working America, the AFL-CIO’s community affiliate for people who don’t have a union at work.

STEP 4: Get in Touch with a Union Organizer

Union organizers assist employees in forming unions on the job to give them the same opportunity for a say at work, good wages and decent working conditions. To get in touch with a union organizer, please fill out the form below.

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