What is a labor union?

A labor union is an organization of workers who work to achieve the common goals as stated above. The labor union, through its leadership, bargains with the employer on behalf of union members (rank and file members) and negotiates labor contracts with employers.

This may include the negotiation of wages, work rules, complaint procedures, rules governing hiring, firing and promotion of workers, benefits, workplace safety and policies. The agreements negotiated by the union leaders are binding on the rank and file members and the employer and in some cases on other non-member workers.


Why Join a Union?

There may be no better reason to join a union other than the fact that union members’ wages are 28% higher than non-union workers’ wages. It is not uncommon for non-union workers to earn $8 an hour, have no health insurance, and no pension. Public assistance programs funded by taxpayers make up for what employers should be paying, but are instead pocketing. Of course, corporations and private businesses have the fundamental right to make a profit....it is part of the American Dream. But some CEOs can earn 500 times the wages paid to their workers, and this greed is contributing to the demise of the middle class.

In 1935, the United States Government enacted the National Labor Relations Act which grants employees in the private sector the right to form labor organizations and bargain collectively without the interference of employers. There is no denying that there is power in numbers, and such strength gives an edge to employees when it comes to setting the terms and conditions of their employment.

Many non-union workers take for granted the rights and protections afforded to them by virtue of labor’s struggles in the past. The 8-hour work day and 5-day work week are key examples. Additionally, in the ten states in which unions are the strongest, there is less poverty, higher household income, more education spending, and better public policy than in the ten states in which unions are the weakest.

What is Apprenticeship?

Apprenticeship is a structured system of training designed to prepare individuals for skilled occupations. It combines on-the-job training under the supervision of experienced journey workers with related classroom instruction.

What local Unions is the NEWBT affiliated with?

NEWBT - Local Union Affiliations

  • International Brotherhood of Boilermakers
  • International Union of Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers
  • The North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
  • International Union of Elevator Constructors
  • International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Asbestos Workers
  • International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers
  • Laborers’ International Union of North America
  • International Union of Operating Engineers
  • Operative Plasterers and Cement Masons International Association
  • International Union of Painters and Allied Trades
  • United Association Union Plumbers, Pipefitters & Service Techs
  • United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers
  • Sheet Metal Workers International Association
  • Road Sprinkler Fitters Local #669
  • International Brotherhood of Teamsters

What about Community Affiliations in Wisconsin?

  • Central Wisconsin Contractors Association
  • Labor Management Council of
  • Northeast Wisconsin
  • The New North
  • Wisconsin Bio Industry Alliance
  • Wisconsin State AFL-CIO
  • From Helmets to Hardhats National Workforce Development
  • Plover Area Business Association
  • Northeast Wisconsin Construction Industry Partnership


Who is on the Executive Committee of the NEWBT?

  • Ted Gumieny, Business Development Specialist
  • Andy Buck, President
  • Craig Wagner, Vice President
  • Gerald Schomaker, Financial Secretary
  • Jeremy Wicke, Recording Secretary
  • Adam Maves, Sergeant at Arms
  • Marvin Cartwright, Trustee
  • Jesse Jacques, Trustee
  • Steve Dorvinen, Trustee
  • Shane Griesbach, Trustee
  • Doug Dokey, Trustee


Where is the NorthEast Wisconsin Building & Construction Trades Council headquartered?

The NEWBT Headquarters: