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Work in These Industries If You Want to Be in a Union

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There has been a unionization boom in a variety of industries over the past year, to the point where you might not even realize the wide variety of companies and industries that now have unionized employees (or employees fighting to unionize). If you like the idea of ​​working somewhere where you will benefit from the protections a union offers (or if organizing within your current company isn’t a challenge you’re willing to take up), here are some to consider — including ones that you might not have thought of. (Starbucks isn’t on the list quite yet—but it’s getting there.)

Most trades are unionized (including manufacturing, construction, and telecommunications)

Trade unions probably immediately spring to mind when you think of unions. Auto workers have unions. Carpenters have unions. Electricians have unions. Even makeup artists and hairstylists have unions. . While there is upheaval, exploitation, and uncertainty lurking in every industry, being a part of the trade union allows you some protections as you put your specialized skills to good use.

The public sector five times as many union employees

Millions of public sector employees are unionized. In fact, almost five times as many public sector employees are unionized as in the private sector. There are unions for postal workers, firefighters, weather service employees, and more. Working in the public sector can be rewarding on its own and comes with a special kind of fulfillment, but you can — and should — still enjoy some worker protections, too.

Teachers’ unions are powerfu

Talk of “the teachers” union was all over cable news at the height of COVID-19 restrictions and, depending on the ideology of the network, the union sounded like a huge bully or a tremendous force for good. The bottom line there is that teachers’ unions are powerful.

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These unions (like NYSUT, AFT, and UFT, though there are others you’ll hear about from time to time) represent and advocate for hundreds of thousands of teachers across the United States. That is good, because educators are notoriously underpaid and under-supported, even as they play a huge role in shaping the future of our country by guiding the children who will one day be leaders — and workers, perhaps in unions of their own.

Pilots are unionized at most major airlines

Pilots at JetBlue, Delta, United, and more are unionized through the Air Line Pilots Association, which represents over 64,000 pilots. Recently, as COVID-19 restrictions were implemented around the country, these unions became more visible. The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association, for instance, sued the carrier last September, alleging federal labor law violations by way of changed working conditions, altered rules, and shifted change rates. That union represents over 10,000 pilots for the company. The support staff onboard your flight is probably unionized too — Delta is the only mainline American carrier without a flight attendants’ union. Whether you’ll be flying the plane or assisting the passengers onboard, there’s a reasonable expectation it will be a union job.

Most entertainment jobs are unionized

Whether you want to act, direct, or produce within motion pictures, television, and sound recording, there are unionized options for you. In many cases, union membership is a requirement for working on a set. From the Directors Guild of America, to the Screen Actors Guild, the Writers Guild, and IATSE (International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees), you’re probably familiar with some of the relevant unions here. These organizations fight for both fairer wages and to ensure on-set safety.

Trucking and transportation unions still have some power

While only 2% of the nation’s 3.5 million truckers are unionized, trucking is another industry with a strong history of unionization. Consider the Freight Division, which represents the interests of truckers across North America and includes hundreds of local shops and tens of thousands of Teamsters, including among its membership not only truck drivers, but dockworkers, mechanics, office workers, and more. Simply put, even if you don’t want to drive the actual truck, this industry can offer you employment opportunities with union coverage.

The media is increasingly unionized

While many newspapers have been unionized for decades, in recent years, there has been a major push to unionize the digital outlets (including websites and podcasts) that millions of people read and listen to every day. Lifehacker’s own editorial staffers are unionized. So are workers at Insider, the Atlantic, Slate, Gimlet Media, the Los Angeles Times, and many sea. Bear in mind that even with union protections, a media career is also liable to be rife with uncertainly as the landscape of the industry is constantly in flux. But while the threat of layoffs will always be a reality, at a unionized outlet you’ll be able to a little easier knowing you’ll have guaranteed protections like severance pay.

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