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Lawyers See the Need to Organize, Seek Support

PRESS RELEASE Contact: Ted Costa Attorneys & Related Professionals Union (503)243-1941


Lawyers are organizing "Many private-practice attorney office employees would like to unionize for better benefits, working conditions, retirement benefits and quality of representation issues. " claimed the past President of a union representing lawyers today in the U.S.. The average wages and salaries for non-union workers are 19% less than union law offices" claimed Mr. Costa of the ATTORNEYS AND RELATED PROFESSIONALS UNION (A.R.P.U.).

"All you have to do is read the Bureau of Labor Statistics of March 1997 to verify that non-union workers benefits are less than union workers" claimed Costa. "In fact unionized offices get health insurance benefits worth $2.01 per hour where their non-union counterparts average .85 cents per hour" Stated Costa. Since most law firms are not unionized and have not been unionized these statistics are even worse, claimed Costa. When it comes to retirement and pension plans, union plans far out weigh other benefit plans, in that union pension plans, you can count on getting a certain amount per month, depending on how much you work. This is opposed to non-union plans in which retirement income depends on the performance of your investment portfolio as is usually offered in an IRA with small law offices.

Also claimed Costa "unionized law offices enjoy vacations and other forms of paid leave worth and average of $1.56 an hour compared with $1.08 per hour for non-union workers. Likewise union offices do better when it comes to life insurance, sickness and accident insurance, overtime pay, shift premiums and supplement unemployment benefits as well " stated Costa. "If anyone thinks that unionization doesn't help workers they are living in a vacuum" claimed Costa. "When you add wages and benefits together union workers in private industry get total compensation-- including both wages and benefits-- average $23.48 an hour compared to non-union service employees who average $17.21 per hour " stated Costa. "That's a 36% difference in pay and benefits " declared Costa.

"Working in law firms can be the most stressful and strenuous work a person can do" declared Costa. "There are deadlines, statutes of limitations, emergency legal work, trials and court appearances to prepare for, the paperwork is endless and the work is detailed and complicated " claimed Costa.

"The professional organizations that supposedly represents these workers( State BAR, Legal Assistant organizations and Legal Secretary associations) do not assist or represent these valiant workers in negotiating contracts for "terms and conditions" of employment. They are literally left on their own with no contract and no representation " claimed Costa. The Attorneys and Related Professionals Union is opening offices in several states the next three months.

"Look for the Union label " declared Costa


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