The most obvious benefit of belonging to a union is that of being together. It is extremely difficult to achieve success as an individual -- a collective group is much more likely to succeed.

As members would have opted for experienced and forceful representatives, you can be assured that your case is well researched and put forward by the Union. Having contributed to the Union you will be in a position of security should the occasion arise that you have a genuine personal grievance with your employer and you will also be supported in those cases by your fellow workers. Each negotiated collective agreement has procedures to follow in these circumstances.

Union members are entitled to group scheme discount health insurance through Christchurch-based UniMed, which has branch offices in all main centres, and a local representative will visit your workplace on request.

AIL of New Zealand Ltd offers Union members $1,500 of free life insurance cover, and also has a range of policies for you to purchase. Details are available from your Union Office.

Larger plant sub-branches may also operate welfare schemes with sickness and death benefits. Your Union delegate will be able to advise you on these.

Some Branches and Sub Branches arrange with local business houses for a reduction in the purchase price of goods and your local Union Office will have details of this.

Recently the Union has begun a series of Training Seminars for job delegates to provide a better insight into Employment Law and advice on handling day-to-day problems with immediate supervisors and management.