Law Degree Jobs With Unions – Negotiate Collective Bargaining Agreements


Luber: Hey everyone � I�m Marc Luber and
welcome to JD Careers Out There, where we help lawyers and law students find and succeed
in fulfilling careers. And a big part of finding a fulfilling career is figuring out what path
fits you. So today we�re gonna explore one of those paths. This path is really good for
people interested in labor and employment law and people interested in leaving the law.
Our guest is Kathy Finn and she�s the Director of Collective Bargaining for the Local UFCW
770, which is the United Food and Commercial Workers in Southern California. Kathy�s
gonna tell us all about working for a union and being a Director of Collective Bargaining.
Kathy, welcome to JD Careers Out There and thanks for joining us! Kathy: Thanks for having me. Luber: Absolutely. I�m really glad you�re
here. Kathy, I�m gonna ask you to tell us what it means to be a director of collective
bargaining for a union, and then we�re gonna dig in to a typical day, who makes the right
fit for this kind of path, what skill sets and personality types fit, what skills from
law school are used, and then how to break in and how to succeed. So let�s start with
the first part and tell us in broad strokes, what do you do as a director of collective
bargaining for a union? Kathy: First, collective bargaining is when
a group of workers join together to negotiate their wages, hours, working conditions with
their employer. And that�s basically the whole point of a union is workers joining
collectively to get better bargaining power rather than an individual going in and asking
for a raise. You�ve got the whole workforce coming in together and asking for a raise
or better working conditions. So as the Director of Collective Bargaining, I am the person
basically responsible for all the contracts that my union has with the various employers
where we represent the workers. So I work for the United Food and Commercial Workers
union. Our biggest sector is grocery workers. So we represent the workers who work at Ralph�s,
Vons, Albertsons, Gelsons, Stater Brothers, some other grocery stores, we also do drug
stores including Rite Aid and CVS as well as some meat packing, meat processing and
some healthcare workers that work at Kaiser. And we have different contracts with all these
different employers so we probably have about 80 contracts and I�m responsible for making
sure they all get renegotiated each time they open up. Luber: I like to ask everybody to defend their
career path. So just like I asked a personal injury lawyer that I interviewed: �tell
us why you�re not an ambulance chaser.” I want to ask you a similar question and I
want to say that people would say to you, �you�re helping unions who are driving
up the costs of doing business, you�re chasing business out of California because you�re
making it more expensive for business.� What would you say to that argument? Kathy: I just don�t see it that way. I think
unions are providing workers with a voice on the job to be able to have some input into
what they are earning. The balance of power in a typical workplace is so so skewed towards
the boss. Most people are afraid to ask for anything of their boss because they�re afraid
they�re gonna be retaliated against. Unions basically provide people an opportunity to
be able to have some say in what they earn and what their working conditions are on the
job. Currently, in this country, we have so few laws that protect workers compared to
most developed countries that unions are really the only thing out there that are doing that
job of making sure workers are protected. People work really hard and they really deserve
to make a living wage. They should be able to have healthcare, to be able to know that
when they�re too old to continue working after they�ve given most of their productive
years to an employer that they’re gonna have a pension to rely on. So that�s basically
why I do this job. Luber: Alright, if this was at all helpful
to you, please click the thumbs up and spread the word! And if you want to see the full
interview with Kathy, come on over to JD Careers Out There dot com. Kathy�s gonna tell us
all about what it�s like to be a director of collective bargaining, who makes the right
fit for this path, what skills from law skills are used all the time, how to break in and
how to succeed. You can take a shortcut to the site by going to JDCOT dot com. If you�re
already there at the site, you can just scroll down to the full video. Make sure you join
our membership, though, so you can get access to all of our videos. Thanks again for watching
everybody. I�m Marc Luber and look forward to seeing you again soon. Take care.

1 comment

Can you make a video about non Aba approved law schools ? I live in California and a lot of law schools here don't require you to have even a Bachelors degree to apply its seems to good to be true and I feel like employers firms won't take you serious what are your thoughts ?

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