If you work full-time for an organization, it’s possible you’ve been told not to unionize. Many companies are scared of unions, and the idea that their employees could form a group that rises up against corporate management.
If you’re a freelancer, you don’t have just a single boss, and therefore it could benefit you more to unionize than it would to stay independent. In this article, I’m going to go over the details of the freelancers union, what it is, and how to join.
What is the freelancer union?
The freelancer union was formed in 2003. Truthfully, it was a re-branding of an existing program called the Working Today, which had formed in 1995. Both were started by the same individual, labor law attorney Sarah Horowitz.
Does it cost to join the Freelancer's Union?
Thankfully, joining the Freelancer's Union is free! You may have to pay for extracurricular activities within the union such as seminars or networking events. Membership, however, does not cost.
Working Today began as a 501(c)(3) that intended to raise support and awareness for the independent workforce. The Freelancers Union followed, with a goal of connecting individuals to benefits such as health insurance, dental, etc.
In addition to helping individuals, the Freelancers Union lobbies for legal change on issues freelancers struggle with. For example, freelancers are often taxed higher than an employee with a traditional job.
The Freelancers Union is also a great resource for individuals in need of professional guidance. Those in the union have access to private networking opportunities and online tools that can help them grow in their careers.
How to join the Freelancer Union
Thankfully, there are no fees to join or stay in the Freelancer Union. Members also do not pay additional fees for any of the services provided by the union. A member could expect to pay money to attend seminars and other networking events, but their general spot in the “club” is free.
In order to join the union, simply navigate to their registration page and fill out the form, which looks like this:
The Freelancer Union website has tons of resources for individuals who are in any stage of their freelancing career. Some hot topics to note are health insurance FAQs, resources about client non payment, and financial tools.
Should you join the Freelancer’s Union?
The simple answer here is that if you are a freelancer, yes. While the union has been criticized for its inability to provide certain services to individuals, it also does not hurt anything to join.
One example of criticism is that the union cannot act on your behalf. They cannot negotiate employer contracts or represent individuals who have complaints against their employers. However, those who don’t join the union would be missing out on a lot of other resources that could be of service, such as insurance and community.
The Freelancer’s Union connects you with other like-minded individuals, and provides a safe place to go for guidance should an issue or question arise. In short, the benefits of being a part of the union far outweigh any standing criticisms.
Freelancing is not an easy career choice, and you will need all the help you can get to receive fair pay, and to find the best health insurance. Join the Freelancer’s Union and surround yourself with people who want you to succeed in this unique path.
Grace Pinegar is a lifelong storyteller with an extensive background in various forms such as acting, journalism, improv, research, and content marketing. She was raised in Texas, educated in Missouri, worked in Chicago, and is now a proud New Yorker. (she/her/hers)