Union membership continues to drop to all-time lows and now accounts for about seven percent (7%) of the private workforce. Here’s what Cintas partners have said:
"We don’t want a union. We don’t need a union."
"The experience I had with the union is something I don’t ever want to go through again."
"We do not want to affiliate with UNITE or Teamsters or any other syndicate or organization."
"I feel your union has no interest in my well-being or my family’s financial well-being."
"By attacking my customers with your lies, you attacked me and my family."
"UNITE has proven to be dishonest and deceiving."
"Unions always overpromise and underdeliver."
Moreover, when it comes to tangible benefits and retirement, unions have proven that they can’t deliver. Union insurance at one Cintas facility provided the partners with coverage only for the employee, leaving children and spouses uncovered for their healthcare needs. And long-time union members tell us that their union pensions were even worse:
"We had a union pension, which will give some of the 13- to 17-year UNITE veterans about $34 to $56 a month when we retire."
We believe one reason for union problems is mismanagement by union leadership. Certainly, the news has been filled for years with stories about union officials arrested for embezzling their members' funds. But recent management mistakes at UNITE, for example, are costing the union millions of dollars:
- A California jury fined UNITE $17.8 million for defaming a local hospital.
- A federal judge in Pennsylvania found UNITE guilty of violating privacy laws, meaning that the union might have to pay $5 million or more in fines to local workers.
- A New York court has put a freeze on $77 million and may force UNITE to repay millions after the union took away most of the retirement benefits from its own employees.
We believe that progressive employers like Cintas, particularly in today’s economy, recognize the value in investing in people by providing good wages and benefits, and by creating open environments of trust, respect and dialogue. We appreciate and value the direct working relationship and communication we have with our 31,000 employee-partners, and the trust we’ve earned through our commitments to them and their families.