Compiled by Paula Brien & Paula Epstein, myth-busters

Myth: Workers are already protected enough by the legal system.

Reality: Without a union or a bargained contract, U.S. workers are generally considered “at will” employees. Simply stated, an “at will” worker can legally be fired at any time and for no reason … totally at the will of the employer. A bargained union contract changes this; it gives employees the kind of “due process” rights at work that they have as citizens in society.

Myth: Unions protect bad workers

Reality: Contrary to popular opinion, unions don’t protect bad workers; they just make sure that due process is used to dismiss them and that it is not done arbitrarily. They can help protect minorities, and other subordinated groups, from being wrongfully fired.

Stay tuned. There are a lot of myths and misinformation about unions out there—both within the Columbia community and the general public. Let us know what myths you’d like us to check out. Email us: usofcc (at)

Paula B. and Paula E._______

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