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Union Head

Physical Danger

Unless you form mafia ties or start taking briefcases of cash as a union equivalent of a corrupt politician, you’re likely not going to be killed, injured or really even threatened. Some good advice Mr. Hoffa would have been wise to follow. However, physical danger plays a huge role in what you do every day. Your workers often have jobs like unloading ships at docks or running heavy equipment or welding rivets on the 87th floor. THOSE guys have SERIOUS physical danger in their jobs and they get hurt all the time—so a big part of your job is looking out for them in the form of health care benefits and workman’s compensation in case/when they do get injured.

Obviously, Management doesn’t want to pay a lot for injuries—highly unproductive capital; and you'll argue that those injuries are an integral part of the job…that management SHOULD take care of its own. And it's not just about having an insurance plan in place—it's about having a good insurance plan in place. It does an employee no good if they're paying sky-high premiums and then have to plunk down a ridiculous deductible in the event of a claim before they reap any benefits from it. It's your job to negotiate the best possible plan, so that the workers are paying low premiums and will be subjected to only small deductibles. Sometimes, paying through the nose can be the most painful procedure imaginable.