RESTAURANT WORKERS UNITED (RWU)
Ask yourself, what do I know about this union's financial stability? How do they spend members' money?
Check out the information below to learn about this union and how they choose to manage their business.
It's always in an employee's best interests to understand and appreciate what their money would be going toward if they pay a union. All unions must file annual financial reports with the Dept of Labor-Office of Labor Management Standards. These reports demonstrate how the union captures their revenue and how they spend your money. Unfortunately, the RWU is a newly created union with no financial backing nor history of spending of members' hard earned money. At least not yet!
With no money to support their cause, the RWU has resorted to pleading for donations to establish their business. In early 2022, Ben Reynolds, RWU Representative, created the RWU GoFundMe Account stating, "If we’re going to win, we need your help. We’re a working-class movement and your support allows us to pay for legal advice, organizing resources, and strike funds." Thus far the RWU has received a measly $1580 of the requested $50,000.
Will I be expected to pay the union?
If things sound too good to be true, they usually are. But remember, as the old saying goes, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” Unions and union membership are a good example. Paying union dues may seem like a good idea. After all, the union promises better pay and benefits, right?
In the RWU website they explain, "We pay dues as members so that we can afford the resources we need to win and change our lives, such as legal support, strike funds, and organizing resources. Paying dues builds our power as workers." The RWU Constitution (union membership rules) informs members "must pay dues to remain in good standing." WORKING MEMBERS are expected to pay at least $30/month or 2 hours of pay monthly, whichever is greater." Some Via 313 employees could be expected to pay more than $100/month if the RWU can reach a contract with Via 313. INDUSTRY MEMBERS are expected to pay at least $15/month or 1 hour of pay monthly for those who have signed authorization to be a RWU member, but are not represented by the union under a collective bargaining agreement. The RWU expects you to pay BEFORE they even get anything for you.
But where does the money go?
In most states, the law allows the union and the employer to agree to a clause in the contract called "Union Security". This clause allows the union to collect dues and initiation fees from the employee members as a condition of employment. Failure to join and pay the union would result in losing your job). Union Security clauses are illegal in Right to Work States like Texas. In Texas a person cannot be denied employment because of membership or non-membership in a labor union. However, a great number of employees would be persuaded to join and pay the union, take a sword oath to obey the union's rules, so they have a chance to have their voice heard.
What's the Prize for the RWU?
The RWU is expecting to collect approximately $290,000 in Dues from the Via 313 legacy stores employees’ paychecks alone over the course of a 4-year collective bargaining agreement. This doesn’t include payment of fines, assessments or initiation fees from future employees. Employees will be expected to pay about $360-$1200/year based on average hourly wage. But the RWU knows there's a bigger prize opportunity. With Via 313's expansion plans across the country, the RWU could be looking at millions of dollars in dues paid yearly to their business.
Where does all this money go?
Besides paying the high salaries and benefits of union bosses, their salespeople (organizers), negotiators, and others, unions also uses dues money for luxurious trips, hotels, casinos, fancy restaurants, political agendas, legal defense, private consultants and more.