So few of us now belong to a labor organization that most of us probably don't even ask ourselves that question. If we do, we may think a union is just something that takes a bite out of our paychecks but never does anything else. Sometimes that may even be true, but not always.
Today I got a nice reminder of why having a union might be a real benefit. My partner is a "freeway flyer." That is, she makes a living by teaching as "adjunct faculty" at various colleges. "Adjunct faculty" is fancy language for a temp worker -- she gets no benefits and no guaranteed contracts. But one of the places she works does require her to be part of a faculty union.
Yesterday she taught her last class of the semester; today she got a note from her union rep:
Now my partner is an adult; she knows this -- but all of us could use often use someone to remind us that we have rights and should use them.